A trio of friends, our plucky heroes, stand before us. One tall, one short, one long of hair, they talk us through the heroic and non-heroic parts of life, and muse on the nature of stories. They have travelled, they have read dubious fan fiction, they have come to terms with being both a man and a feminist. From their experiences they have produced a Fringe show of cheerful stand up and brief sketches which sticks closely enough to the theme of storytelling without being restricted to it. An old story well told can still make people laugh and make them think and Tim Ballantine, Haydn Griffith-Jones and Andy Kallstrom achieve both with ease.
The whole offers far more than the sum of its parts
Throughout the show we witness each performer's different experiences of manliness, or lack thereof, and discuss the power of stories in bringing people together. This is an hour not just of interesting and wildly funny comedy, but of genuine thought about one of the most important parts of being human. Every comedian at the Fringe tells us stories of one kind or another, but these three discuss the inner workings and common themes of these in an honest and insightful way - before launching into another What I Did On My Holidays-style recount.
Clashing cultures shine through when the Brit Ballantine and Canadian Kallstrom take to the stage between sets. Their outsider perspective adds an extra layer to the fabric of the show. We hear tales from Hotpants' home, Kallstrom's emerging realisations about British culture, and Wayne's time spent abroad including elaborate lies in place of chat-up lines. The whole offers far more than the sum of its parts and by sharing the hour between the three of them, the Universal Recipe offers its audience some great pieces of comedy guaranteeing they leave wanting more.