George Egg: Anarchist Cook

Touring stand-up George Egg has spent – and, presumably, continues to spend – a lot of his life in hotels the length and breadth of the UK. As a result he has quite understandably developed a genuine dislike of what he considers to be over-priced, under-whelming hotel food. His solution, however, betrays an anarchic, can-do attitude; he simply opts to cook his own food instead, utilising just the available tools found in within most mid-market hotel rooms.

it’s a remarkably amusing, deceptively simple demonstration

If that seems just the hook for a joke, Egg spends the next hour demonstrating a basic level of hotel room cooking using irons, trouser press and kettle to produce a three course meal (Entreé, Principal et Dessert) which he then offers to the audience to sample afterwards. “This is actually happening, by the way,” he says. You have to agree with Egg that this isn’t so much a comedy show as a lecture; that said, it’s a remarkably amusing, deceptively simple demonstration, with Egg ably keeping on top of not just his subject but also those younger audience members who seemingly think they can carry on talking as if they’re watching television at home, rather than a live performance.

Even though, on occasions, Egg has to resort to using some tools cunningly made from coat-hangers (for example, a basket to hold the fish meat when it’s boiled in a kettle), Egg’s real talent is in making it all look so remarkable easy. Occasionally you might wonder how many hotel rooms actually include more than one iron, or the actual effectiveness of using a hairdryer to make pop corn, but for the most part this all appears to be bang-on perfect for an hour-long show. The only possible exception is when it appears he really needs to get down to some serious food preparation, during which he distracts the audience with a short monochrome film, “The Artist”. It gets plenty of laughs, but it nevertheless feels a slight distraction – if you pardon the pun – from the main course of the show.

The one issue that Egg doesn’t really address concerns the level of wreckage he potentially leaves in his wake – presumably he makes a genuine effort to clean up afterwards, but surely some hotels will have noticed at least the vestiges of butter on their irons after he’s left, or the remnants of a gutted fish in the rubbish bin? Especially given that he’s now touring a show about cooking in hotel rooms! 

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

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★★
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★★★★
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★★★★
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★★★★
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★★★★

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The Blurb

If you like food and cooking then you’ll like this. A cocktail of stand-up comedy, striking innovation and extreme multi-tasking.

George Egg spends a lot of time staying in hotels and some years ago, unimpressed with room service, he took matters into his own hands. Whilst performing a mind-bendingly original show of comedy-cum-illustrated-lecture George prepares a three-course meal on the equipment hotels unwittingly provide (iron, kettle, trouser press…), and if you want to, you can taste it at the end.

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