Great British Bake Off: The Musical
Rating: ★★★
Venue: Noel Coward Theatre, London 
Cast: Haydn Gwynne, John Owen-Jones, Grace Mouat, Scott Paige, Zoe Birkett, Michael Cahill, Damien Humbley, Claire Moore, Aharon Rayner, Jay Saighal, Cat Sandison and Charlotte Wakefield

Expect a scrumptious signature slice of humour, heart and abundant joy! With sixteen wonderful new memorable songs written by acclaimed duo Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary, this laugh-out-loud dose of escapism will leave you savouring every bite.
We're all familiar with Great British Bake Off and it's a TV staple in many households, but is it really kneaded (excuse the pun!) as a musical? That's what I went to find out last night! I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it is just as bonkers as you're probably thinking.

As expected, it follows the journey of budding bakers in the infamous bake off tent. The show starts with a particularly bewildering opening performed by Kim (Birkett) and Jim (Paige), before we're introduced to the 8 hopefuls on "this year's season of the bake off". We then follow each contestant's journey as they progress in the competition; all whilst unravelling layers around their personal lives and connections. We also have our favourite judges: Phil Hollinghurst and Pam Lee

I predicted the show would be full of puns and innuendos - and boy, was it overflowing with them! To the point that I thought there may be a bit too many, if I'm honest. I love a sexual innuendo as much as the next person, but when there's at least one in almost every scene, it all feels a little too try hard. However, the puns surrounding the cakes such as the infamous Labour cake, Tier Starmer and Cake Middleton were much appreciated! 

The numbers I particularly loved were Slap It Like That - which is a number I never expected our beloved Jean Valjean to be performing! But it was equal parts suggestive and hilarious; as balls of dough were kneaded and thrown around the stage. Other favourites were Obviously (performed by Grace Mouat), Grow (performed by Cat Sandison) and My Dad (performed by Damien Humbley and Maisy Mein). There were some truly heartfelt moments within the show that left me with a tear in my eye.

Zoe Birkett and Scott Paige played our hilarious co-hosts, but I found that with their incredible voices and well-timed humour, they were severely underused within the show. Grace Mouat was fantastic, and although her part is relatively secondary, she shone through as snobby, fame hungry, Izzie.

Unfortunately, I didn't connect to the main character Gemma (Wakefield) as much as I think the audience were supposed to. This meant I wasn't particularly rooting for her come the end of the show. But I did love Hassan (Rayner) and Babs (Moore), whose personalities were bold and quite frankly, wonderful

One thing that was faultless was the set design. It felt like you were in that iconic tent, and not a detail was missed. From the ingredients, to the work benches, to the ovens. It truly was fantastic

While it was an overall funny show, some parts felt a little too forced, or just cringeworthy - but I'm sure that's why some audience members love it! However, there's no doubt that the entire cast are just incredible and bursting with talent

You can book tickets to see Great British Bake Off: The Musical, here.


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