Variety is the spice of life and the Fringe certainly has a lot of it. Cosby‘s comedy baking hour can hardly claim to be groundbreaking, but nonetheless it is an original idea, executed with grace and charm by an extremely likeable host. Cosby was a contestant on the BBC’s immensely popular Great British Bake Off a few years back, and this year he brings his baking talents to the festival crowd.
Whilst his skills in the kitchen are apparent, he’s still one to be sidetracked by a story: at one point, he failed to notice that a pan was smoking away until it was pointed out by the audience.
Cosby begins a little awkwardly before settling into a comfortable rapport with his audience. It is, however, part of his charm that he never seems to be completely in control. Whilst a few stiff jokes fall flat early on, audience interaction ensues and it’s a game of chance as to what cake will be made over the next sixty minutes. On the afternoon I was in the audience, Cosby began work on an Italian Meringue with Chocolate Buttercream and Hazelnut Praline – you could practically hear the entire audience salivate as one upon hearing the name.
Not to say that this is just a cooking show however: while Cosby shows off his skills in the kitchen (thanks to an adorably kitsch little kitchen on wheels), he reminisces on some highly amusing moments of his life from childhood up to and including his television appearance. Any fans of Mary Berry’s cooking competition will be in for a real treat as Cosby tells plenty of amusing anecdotes about the behind the scenes of the show.
Cosby really gets the knack of the banter quickly enough and comes up with some terrifically amusing jokes and stories throughout the hour. Whilst his skills in the kitchen are apparent, he’s still one to be sidetracked by a story: at one point, he failed to notice that a pan was smoking away until it was pointed out by the audience. The show really feels like you’re going around to a good friend’s house to help make a delicious cake, but more importantly to have a little gossip. It’s likely one of the most accommodating, friendly and downright nicest shows you’ll see at the festival this year. If you’re feeling the need for a break from all the political satire, nudity, violence and other shock value found all around the festival, perhaps an hour in the kitchen with your new best friend could be just what you need. Plus, you get to sample a free bit of cake at the end. So go on, have your cake and eat it.