After premiering a Cheltenham last year to great acclaim, The Great British Bake Off Musical has found its way on to a west end stage. A lot of people would ask if we really need a musical based off a TV baking competition. But bake off has always been so much more than a show just about baking. What better basis for a new musical than something based on humanity, real peoples stories and a fair few innuendos!
Although it pokes fun at those from the show (no prizes for guessing who Pam Lee & Phil Hollinghurt are based on), this isn’t your typical ‘parody musical’. It is a show with a whole lot of heart, delving into the stories of the various contestants themselves. Like the show it is based on, it is about a lot more than baking itself.
We meet eight contestants, each eager to become the winner. Perhaps none more than cocksure Izzy (Grace Mouat), who will do anything to sabotage others in order to win. Mouat plays her to perfection, managing to still endear the audience to her despite her not being the most likable character on the surface. On the other side of confidence is back up contestant Gemma (Charlotte Wakefield), who constantly doubts herself. She is the true heart of this wonderful show and steals it completely.
Scott Paige & Zoe Birkett play judges Jim & Kim. They inject a lot of humour as the lovable pair. Humour however isn’t something that needs ‘adding’ as it is found in abundance throughout the musical. I can’t remember laughing so much throughout a show since Book of Mormon. All of the gags landed well throughout, from the expected innuendos to one liners and visual humour moments. Jack Brunger has written a truly hilarious show, which is an absolute treat to watch (pun intended).
If not the humour, the music by Pippa Cleary is what makes this show. Brunger and Cleary regularly work in unison having met at Bristol University, and are a formidable musical theatre force to be reckoned with. Cleary takes the audience seamlessly from laughing out loud in songs like ‘Slap It Like That’ to wiping away tears in ‘My Dad’.
Like the show, The Great British Bake Off Musical is classic escapism. It will capture your heart and provide more than a few earworms to hum along to on the journey home. This show is truly delicious and plays at Noel Coward Theatre until 13/05/2023. See below for booking information:
Note: My ticket was bought. Irrespective of whether a show is gifted or bought, I always ensure that my reviews are fair and based on my honest opinion alone.