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NTU Sustainability in Enterprise

Theatre Review: The Anarchist Cook George Egg

14 November 16 words: James Walker

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a three course meal using a trouser press, kettle and a mini bar, then this is the show for you. James Walker enjoyed some innovative food for thought...

For the last twenty years or so, George Egg has been travelling up and down the country doing stand-up comedy. On the surface this might sound exciting, but the reality is quite different. He’s spent so much time in hotels that he’s started to go a bit doolally. The endless repetition of bland décor, generic complimentary condiments, and minibars devoid of nutrition; have all taken their toll. Mr Egg has decided to fight back.

Gideon Bibles, when turned upside down and fanned out into a triangle shape, make an excellent holder for an upturned iron. The iron acts as a temporary grill, perfect for frying bacon or toasting paninis. Coat hangers can be bent into numerous shapes and with a little imagination become baskets which can be used to poach fish in a kettle. But perhaps the most incredible transformation of all is the minibar. With a little help from science and faffing about with temperatures, you can separate whey to make your own ricotta!

Egg’s one hour show is like a meeting of Alan Partridge and Heston Blumenthal. It appeals to both the foodies and anyone caught in the limbo of motorway Travel Lodges. But there are deeper messages behind the seemingly silliness of making a three course meal in a hotel room. We are all products of our environment, but we have the ability to change them and find beauty in the everyday. This is also a show about sustainability, in that we have limited resources and must make the best of what we have. Egg does allude to this at one point but does so in a deliberately contrite manner so that he ends up boring himself and the audience. He doesn’t want to lecture, this is food for thought.

To prove that a spider plant leaf does taste a bit like tarragon, the audience are invited to try the meal in the foyer after. And it tastes good. This is no gimmick. When I got home and sat down and had a cuppa, this familiar environment looked different. I realised the needles on my cactus could act as a toothpick or a skewer. Salt grinders were silent maracas waiting to be shaken. And as for my girlfriend…

George Cook: Anarchist Cook, Lakeside, 3 November 2016 

Nottingham Lakeside Arts website

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