‘You’ll have had your tea?’ is the legendary response of Edinburgh’s bourgeoisie to the arrival of an unexpected guest. George Egg is clearly fully prepared for any such unanticipated appearances, as ‘George Egg, Anarchist Cook’ demonstrates.
Egg is a much-travelled comedian, having appeared extensively across Europe and elsewhere. Perforce having to stay in hotels where the catering is less than inspiring and the costs considerable, he began to experiment, using the generally available resources of hotel rooms – electric kettles, irons, trouser presses – you get the idea. Egg has a considerable number, which he demonstrates in the course of an hour, preparing a three-course meal as he avuncularly cracks jokes along with the eggs.
Using an iron to toast some crostini that will form the starter, Egg goes on to poach locally sourced sea bass (you’ll have to see the show to learn how), create a salad and prepare pancakes for dessert. All of which might seem humdrum in the comfort of you own kitchen, but in the cramped conditions of the Gilded Balloon balcony space, with the limitations Egg has set himself, is a rare treat indeed, and one he invites the audience to sample afterward.
Egg, however, is first and foremost a comedian, and in the course of preparing his courses regales us with a fair field of comedy, although he never loses sight of the real purpose of this exercise – to encourage the audience to think creatively, to not accept defeat and to find solutions in unexpected places, such as the wardrobe rail, which is clearly where the several useful devices Egg uses originated, as the ubiquitous wire coat-hangers he has bent to his own purposes.
Stimulating and thought provoking are terms not often used to describe a comedy show, but Egg is both these and more, as well as being hugely entertaining. Nearly a full house for the performance seen, this shows audiences are likely to build quickly, but it will be well worth your while getting a ticket while you can.
Til 30 August, 2.45pm