The Great British Bake Off – what’s not to love? Cake, puns galore and HRH Mary Berry showing her soft spot for gin. Turning the TV show into a Fringe musical will be a sure-fire hit, thought the students of the Guildford School of Acting. After several runs on the London Fringe circuit over the past two years, it has now transferred to the Edinburgh Fringe, coinciding with the start of the new series of the TV show. Performed by Durham University’s Light Opera Group (DULOG), can they do it justice, or will it turn out to be an Eton mess?
The punny script works incredibly well to complement the light-hearted story. Musically, whilst some numbers are there honestly to fill out spare time, there are surprisingly a few gems to be found, with a lot of heart and charm behind them.
Seven contestants from the small village of Bakewell compete in their annual bake off to truly decide who is the best, and what is the original Bakewell Tart. The punny script works incredibly well to complement the light-hearted story. Musically, whilst some numbers are there honestly to fill out spare time, there are surprisingly a few gems to be found, with a lot of heart and charm behind them.
Unfortunately, the majority of the DULOG cast does not give the show any life. On their small stage, the weak, over-gestured choreography becomes incredibly overwhelming and has little comedic impact. The lack of any real decent singing overshadows the comedic potential that the majority of the characters ought to bring out, but instead they look rather awkward on stage.
Nonetheless, there were some worthy winners in this bake off. Ellie Bowness saves the production as the only performer to truly go in-depth in her characterisation as Victoria Sponge - the ‘Mel & Sue’ of the show. Her hearty low vocal and brilliant comic timing makes her one to watch for the future. Other performances that should receive praise are Charlie Keable as the dry-humoured but loveable postman Freddie and Sophie Forster as the sassy judge, Grizelda.