This musical iteration of The Great British Bake Off has installed itself, this olfactory trick is missed – not a single cup cake is actually cooked.
And if ever a show might benefit from the waft of baking cake it is this one. That said, there is much to enjoy about this feel-good musical, which to fill this West End stage has put on a few pounds since it premiered in Cheltenham last year.
With tongues firmly in cheeks West End favourites Haydn Gwynne and John Owen-Jones are flamboyant and beefy dead ringers for TV judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.
Meanwhile music and story writers Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary reflect much of human life via the eight contestants.
Entitled Cambridge graduate Izzy (Grace Mouat) plans a celebrity chef empire and ruthlessly hides the lucky t-shirt belonging to Syrian refugee Hassan (Aharon Rayner).
Then there is carer Gemma (Charlotte Wakefield) whose self esteem is lower than a sunk soufflé until, somewhat inevitably, she turns out to be the dark horse in the race and, equally inevitably, gets to sing the self-affirming punning anthem Rise.
Yes, sentimentality is over-egged. But the song Grow sung by Italian contestant Francesca (Cat Sandsion) is a moving hymn to the solace of cooking for a woman who can’t conceive.
With so many ingredients the evening could easily have ended up as a dog’s dinner. Yet there is just enough substance in this confection to leave audiences satisfied. A whiff of baking however would have been the cherry on the cake.
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