Edinburgh Fringe 2017: Food & Drink Shows
From the compelling to the slightly confusing, we round up the food-inspired shows at this year's Edinburgh Fringe that have attracted our attention
Another year, another Edinburgh Fringe. The world's biggest arts festival rolls into / over / through town this month, and pervades every aspect of the cultural scene. That, naturally, includes the merry old land of food and drink, so we've put together a selection of the best food-related happenings at this year's Fringe. Your cabaret shows starring giant eggs, your DIY-powered cheffing – y'know, the usual Fringe stuff.
We'll start with something straightforward – an egg. A solo theatre piece from Theodora van der Beek, Egg tackles issues of feminism, power and privilege, through the story of 'one yolk's quest to make it in a human world.' It is also, and we can't stress this enough, a one-woman show in which the lead character is a human-sized anthropomorphic egg. Something for everyone, then. 5-27 Aug, 2.15pm, Bourbon Bar (venue 333), free.
Speaking of eggs, when it comes to combining food with comedy, few people have been as effective in recent years as George Egg. His schtick is a cracker – Egg makes food on stage using a host of unconventional appliances and items, while doing the jokes at the same time. After the runaway success of his Anarchist Cook show – in which, amongst other things, Egg made a makeshift pancake station out of a pair of hotel room irons and copies of the Bible – he's back with a new host of recipes and techniques in DIY Chef. He's been digging around in the toolshed by the looks of things, so prepare to laugh, eat, and be inspired to misuse some common domestic tools. 2-27 Aug (not 14), 4.15pm, Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue 14), £9-10.
Next, a dark comedy about accidental drug-dealing! Flour is a new comedy from the Imperial College Dramatic Society, in which a pair of bakers stumble across a new and highly-addictive synthetic drug that just happens to be an exact doppelganger for the titular ingredient. What follows promises to be a hoot – the 'bakers accidentally send customers into coke-fuelled frenzy' premise is a potential Fringe classic, and the fact that the first two adjectives in the show's description in the Fringe guide are 'sweary' and 'aggressive' bodes extremely well. Just work White Lines by Grandmaster Flash into the soundtrack, and we'll be applauding in the aisles. 14-19 Aug, 6.20pm, theSpace on the Mile (venue 39), £5-7.
From baking-related drug warfare to a baking-related sing-song, and The Bakewell Bake Off. Set in the village of Bakewell, ...Bake Off presents the stories of eight contestants and a trio of judges in an annual baking competition packed with intrigue and eccentricity. Ideal if you've ever wished Sue Perkins et al would bust out into a full-on dance number mid-bake, or if you simply want to reminisce about the simpler times before the Bake Off became synonymous with TV production politics. 7-12 Aug, 6.50pm, Quaker Meeting House (venue 40), £6-8.
At the slightly less advanced end of the scale, The Great Comedy Cooking Challenge is the result of a challenge set to comedian and 'culinary incompetent' Jay Sodagar by fellow comic Andrew Roper. Sodagar was challenged to produce a three-course meal from scratch, once a week, for a year; this show will see Sodagar share his knowledge, do some cooking, and hopefully get one over on the colleague who's been making him cook all year. 7 & 14 Aug, 2pm, Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters (venue 272), free.
Here in the food pages of The Skinny, there are two things that make us happy – delicious artisanal coffee, and ill-advised challenges and feats of derring-do. And what do you know, those two things have been combined into one show at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe! What are the chances? Tom Goodliffe's Coffee Run sees the comedian tell the story of his attempt to visit every cafe and shop on the London Speciality Coffee Map in the space of a day – pull up a chair and hear how Tom got on. Naturally, he is providing coffee for everyone. 2-27 Aug (not 15), 2.50pm, Underbelly Med Quad (venue 302), £10-11.
Finally, we'd be remiss to print this kind of round-up without at least one reference to the near-constant boozing that goes along with an Edinburgh August. Mother's Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin fits the bill, and then some. Part history lesson, part comic take on the role of gin in society and part pissed-up sing-song, Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood's dark cabaret charts gin's influence across centuries and continents. It also features songs by Nina Simone and Martha Wainwright, plus free gin, so we are on board. 2-27 Aug (not 14 & 21), 6.15pm, Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre (venue 76), £11-14.