The Great British Bake Off Musical

"A sweet treat in the West End that’s well worth seeing!"

It’s not often a television show is turned into a musical – least of all successfully, but creators Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary have made the perfect recipe for a hit with this show! The Noel Coward theatre has been turned into The Great British Bake Off Tent and we’re all invited to see the bakes and the stories within!

This show is less about Bake Off and more about the stories of the 8 contestants taking on the challenges in the iconic tent. The TV show format is used wonderfully as a vehicle for the show, using ‘on screen’ and ‘behind the scenes’ moments to show us the whole journey the characters are going on. 

The main focus is a love story between contestants Gemma (Charlotte Wakefield) and Ben (Damian Humbley).  We see their romance grow from awkward beginnings to fully baked love. Both performers give outstanding performances, Wakefield in particular showing off a spectacular voice. 

No Great British Bake Off would be complete without fun hosts or brutal judges, in this show the hosts come in the form of Jim (Scott Paige) and Kim (Zoe Birkett) who make a wonderful double act, giving us the camp comedy lines and fantastic vocals to boot! Our judges are Phil Hollinghurst (John Owen-Jones) and Pam Lee (Haydn Gwynne); each bringing their years of experience to the roles means they truly are the stand outs in this piece, each giving a masterclass in performing and showing us just how it should be done! 

Looking at each contestant you can clearly see they’ve been based on past Bake Off contestants and each actor does a wonderful job of bringing them to life; Grace Moat as posh girl Izzy really does make us dislike her, playing her as a revolting fame hungry woman who thinks it’s obvious she should win. Cockney Granny Babs is played by the incredible Claire Moore whose showstopping number in the 2nd half deserved a standing ovation of its own! 

Special mention must go to the young performer playing Lily, on this night it was Aanya Shah who for such a young girl really holds her own on the stage. Showing off a powerful voice and emotional intelligence in her role, it’s clear she’s already a star!

Pippa Cleary is a genius when it comes to the songs in this show; filling them with Bake Off in jokes, innuendos and wonderful harmonies.  She really has thrown everything into this show. There are wonderful ballads that will have you close to tears, followed by hilarious tunes that will have your sides hurting.

Choreographer Georgina Lamb has done a superb job, some wonderful ‘dough-ography’ features in the hilarious song ‘Slap It Like That’ and a wonderful ballroom routine later on in the show will warm your heart. 

If you’re a fan of The Great British Bake off there will be many moments in this show you recognise such as an incident with stolen ice-cream...but there’s not too many in-jokes that you’d feel left out and lacking enjoyment from this show. It’s a nice easy watch that will leave you feeling warm and joyful as you’re leaving the theatre, a sweet treat in the West End that’s well worth seeing! 

This production was reviewed on the 3rd March 2023.  The show runs at The Noel Coward Theatre until the 13th May 2023.  Tickets available here: The Great British Bake Off Musical (bakeoffthemusical.com)

Review written by Rosie Browne

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