You’ve been invited into George Egg’s shed. No, you’re not here to sand down that dresser you bought from Lewes Flea Market. He actually wants to cook you breakfast, lunch and dinner...with power tools.
It’s like if James Martin had gone doolally after having been accidentally locked in a shed with only a sausage and an angle grinder.
George Egg is a professional and confident host of an evening that is a large portion of comedy, served with a side of cooking demonstration and a dash of educational lecture (with a light sprinkling of food related poetry thrown in for good measure). His humour is broad and as traditional as a Sunday roast, with routines about visiting the doctors, what he would name his heavy metal band (if he had one) and discounted food in supermarkets. Egg knows his audience and everyone in the sold-out crowd found themselves laughing. I sat next to an eight-year-old boy who laughed the whole way through, whether he fully understood the jokes or not. Some gentle pokes at the food scene in Brighton were particularly well received although, in terms of comedy, there’s nothing particularly new here.
Egg leaves the real innovation for the food. It’s like if James Martin had gone doolally after having been accidentally locked in a shed with only a sausage and an angle grinder. Egg cooks with the kind of delight that many of us have lost after too many ready meals and takeaways. First course is breakfast, of course, a dish of kippers and egg poached in his very own wallpaper stripper. Next is pasta cut into fettuccine strips with – you guessed it – a paper shredder. Heston, eat your heart out. A keen chef, Egg clearly loves his ingredients and cooks them with passion and skill. The food, what scraps you can get, is delicious. In fact, I saw other audience members slurp up pasta with hearty abandon, lost in their cravings and forgetting that one bowl is really meant to feed an audience of 250.
This is a joyous show you’ll be talking about for months to come. The language was occasionally a little salty for the younger audience members and a perhaps a matinee family performance is where Egg should head next. Excitingly, there is also a potential vegan show on the horizon. However, right now it is clear to see why he consistently sells out across the country. After watching DIY Chef, you might not have a sudden desire to commandeer a clean toilet brush and a drill in order to use them to wash potatoes, but you will feel inspired to try something a little different next time you’re in the kitchen. Just don’t leave your black salt in the shed.