FEATURE: George Egg – Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We caught up with comedian George Egg ahead of his show at The Stand, Newcastle on Tuesday 13th March, with the comic using food inventively, we thought it only fair to have a food themed Bunch Of Fives. Over to you George…

DIY CHEF is a cross-genre piece of comic performance that, (and I’m trying not to sound too pretentious here), blurs the lines between stand up comedy, illustrated lecture and theatre. But more than anything else it’s about food and cooking. Here’s my top five food-centric moments in cinema.

Clip 1. ‘SPINAL TAP’ AND THE BACKSTAGE CATERING PROBLEMS (1984)

I saw Spinal Tap when I was in my mid teens and I immediately warmed to it. In this scene the band are confused by the backstage catering and chiefly by the fact that the bread is too small for the fillings. Christopher Guest’s utterly charmingly child-like Nigel Tuffnell can’t figure it out and his poor confused manager trying to help him by suggesting that he folds the salami to fit in the bread only makes things worse.

Clip 2. THE FRENCH TOAST SCENES IN ‘KRAMER VS KRAMER’ (1979)

I saw this film when I was a little boy and it was one of only a handful of videos that we owned on Betamax. Yes, I was form a Betamax family. Because of this I’ve watched it hundreds of times. There’s two scenes in the film where Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and his son Billy (Justin Henry) make French Toast together. They’re completely different, and both utterly heart-breaking.

Clip 3. ANY OF A PLETHORA OF MOMENTS FROM ‘NAPOLEON DYNAMITE’ (2004)

This film is rich with food. So much so that my family often kills time on car journeys playing games of ‘20 questions’ where the answer has to be an item of food from this film; Uncle Rico’s steak; the ham that’s fed to Tina; Deb’s 1% milk; the delicious bass… the list goes on. I think my most memorable foodie moment is the ‘tots’ that Napoleon steals and eats from him pocket in class. More so because listening to the DVD commentary the cast members and director reminisce how they were completely disgusting and stale and the crunch was added by a Foley artist.

Clip 4. THE RATATOUILLE TASTING IN ‘RATATOUILLE’ (2007)

I had to have Ratatouille in here. It’s epic. And I’ve chosen the moment the cynical critic is broken by sheer talent. Remy has decided to cook this simple peasant’s dish for restaurant reviewer Anton Ego despite everyone advising against it. Ego sniffs at it, pokes it around a little and then tastes it. And the moment he does he’s transported back to his childhood. Food, theatre, comedy… all art has the power to do this and the moment it happens is magical.

Clip 5. KEITH AND CANDICE MARIE DISCUSS CHEWING in ‘NUTS IN MAY’ (1976)

Far and away my favourite thing that Mike Leigh has made. Two middle-class somewhat holier-than-thou vegetarian campers on holiday. That’s all. Like the best of Alan Partridge, Basil Fawlty, Larry David or David Brent, while you’re cringing at Keith (Roger Sloman) you’re simultaneously sympathising and to a degree empathising with his plight while desperately wishing he could deal with it in a different way. In this scene Candice Marie (Alison Steadman) questions Keith’s rule that food should be chewed 72 times citing that mushrooms are a lot softer than nuts. Keith chews, (and I adore how long they draw out Keith’s internal counting), before he concedes that it depends on what it is you’re chewing.

George Egg is at The Stand, Newcastle on Tuesday 13th March.

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