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The Sugar and Honey Cook-Along!
Published on Monday, 06 May 2013

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3 stars

Upstairs at Three and Ten (venue website)
4-6 May, 1:30pm-2:10pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Warning: Contains strong language.
 Suitable for age 16+ only.

Sugar and Honey are part of the baking and home-crafts craze that has taken off in the last few years and shows no sign of slowing. Setting the startling innuendos of The Great British Bake Off in their satirical sights, this duo, in bright wigs and retro frocks, have picked a subject matter that is ripe for mockery. And their left-field barbs often hit the target.

The show has a lot of neat set-pieces. As they work their way ineptly through a cake recipe, scattering flour and cream around the stage, Sugar and Honey are continually diverted into other oddities. At one point they spray vanilla scented air freshener everywhere, parading up and down the aisle.  Another section becomes a Beyoncé dance routine, there’s a bizarre marshmallow eating spectacle and some unrequited lesbian lust.

A lot of these work extremely well, (especially the marshmallows, a satisfyingly gross moment), but others are slight and woefully under-developed. So while Sugar and Honey’s horrific-looking cake mix miraculously transforms in the oven into a perfect Victoria sponge, the show’s mix of ingredients just doesn’t quite come together in the same way.

The Sugar and Honey Cook-Along is really little more than an extended sketch, and it felt at times that it was a struggle to get this show even to its running time of 40 minutes. The vignettes weren’t presented in any particular order, and none of them impacted on each other or had any consequences. It was hard to get any kind of handle on who Honey and Sugar were, despite what appeared to be glimpses into darker lives hidden under the frosting.

A show about our obsessions with everything cake – and the niche of femininity it occupies – is a smart idea, and this show had some flashes of excellence.  But ultimately it was disappointingly under-baked.

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