I am no great comedy fan. Some of the least enjoyable nights of my life have been spent cringing with embarrassment at car-crash gigs (I’m looking at you Josie Long!)

But I was intrigued by the sound of George Egg’s Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival show during which he prepares a three-course meal using only the items to be found in a hotel bedroom. And this was at the lovely surroundings of Upstairs at the Western  – a steeply-raked theatre space above the Western pub of maybe 50 seats that is run by an enthusiastic team of volunteers and puts on a regular programme of dram, spoken word and comedy (www.upstairsatthewestern.com).

The set-up is of the stand-up traipsing around the country and finding himself once again faced with grabbing a late-night kebab or trying to be inventive within the confines of a Premier Inn. It’s somewhere between a comedy gig and one of the cooking demonstrations you get at food festivals. Here though the chef has a confident line in banter, fleshed out with pleasantly surreal visuals such as a short film of painting marmite on twiglets.

The realisation dawns that yes this really is cookingon stage –  he really is buttering the hot plate of an iron and making pancakes on them. He also manages to fillet a sea bream and poach it in a kettle with a holder fashioned from bent clothes hangers, make a salsa verde with seasonings half-inched from an M&S café and crush some hazlenuts using a Gideon bible.

timthumb www.georgeegg.com

We got to taste afterwards and it was actually very tasty – Mr Egg seemed to be doing a good trade in selling his recipe cards too.

Not an awful lot of jokes, nor much of a narrative structure, but as an exploration of making the most of your surroundings this was a fun way to pass an hour. There’s no excuse for the continued employment of Tim Lovejoy on Sunday Brunch while George Egg is available. Well, there’s no excuse for the employment of Tim Lovejoy full stop but you get the idea.

%d bloggers like this: