★ ★ ★ ★
What I love about theatre is that very occasionally you’ll happen upon a show which is so totally, absolutely, barking mad bonkers and bizarre that there’s no way it should work, but it does. Captain Breadbeard’s Bready Brilliant Comedy Cookbook is one such show. It’s difficult to describe exactly what Captain Breadbeard is whilst doing it justice, but indulge me while I try: Captain Breadbeard’s Bready Brilliant Comedy Cookbook is an hour long show packed full of delightfully groan-worthy bread based puns and sketches, it’s not only suitable but also enjoyable for all ages, and offers some pure silly escapism, which can be really undervalued particularly in theatre these days.
Captain Breadbeard, the sailor with bread for a beard, and his colleague Davy Scones take us through a witty range of bread based skits, games, songs and sketches, which include plenty of audience participation and are guaranteed to leave even the most pun hating cynic chuckling. I’m generally a fan of any show which gives me food upon arrival, and it’s difficult not to enjoy yourself watching some first rate out of the box clowning with a tummy full of gingerbread. I’ll admit that usually I’m not a big fan of puns and visual gags, and as the show opened with Captain Breadbeard and Davy Scones playing various types of bread as different instruments and singing a bread themed song I was wondering what exactly I was about to put myself through, but it didn’t take long for me to get sucked into the charming dough based world of Captain Breadbeard and I was hooked right through to the smashing poppadum based finale! This show will batter you over the head with a baguette until you can’t help but get sucked into its odd bready universe.
It’s a fast paced show with a lot of variety, with gags and jokes which will appeal to all ages. At times it feels like the props round of an episode of Whose Line is it Anyway where all the props are bread items, and at other times it does something which would fly right over most kids heads, like its homage to Samuel Beckett with the skit ‘Waiting for Toasto’. There are celebrity and pop culture references of all kinds, with song parodies throughout, and a particularly amusing set of Star Wars gags.
Dave Watt and Nick Surridge, who play Captain Breadbeard and Davy Scones respectively, are so engaging and absolutely give their all in this joyful sketch show. Their physicality, their engagement with the audience, and their commitment to fun and silliness make this show what it is, and I can’t imagine Captain Breadbeard working half as well without the dedication to pure entertainment they so clearly value here. It feels very much like a kid’s show made for adults, and if you thought there couldn’t possibly be enough bread based puns to fill a non-stop hour then you are sorely mistaken, my friend. It feels a little like the audience participation sidekick characters from a pantomime got loose and went AWOL, then decided to create their own show.
A wonderfully funny and playful hour of entertainment that will make you laugh your socks off all the time you’re prepared to sit back and just roll with it.
(Pardon the pun.)
Captain Breadbeard’s Bready Brilliant Comedy Cookbook ~ [The Camden People’s Theatre] ~ Review
★ ★ ★ ★