Writers: Si King, Dave Myers and Will Brenton
Director: Will Brenton
Reviewer: Liza Kyle
The nations’ favourite bike riding, beard flaunting, globe-trotting double act is back and they’re still larger than life, despite cooking and eating their way to a mightily impressive three stone weight loss between them.
There is certainly a lot of mileage to be had out of these two friends. Over the last few years, The Hairy Bikers, also known as Si King and Dave Myers, have brought us more than a baker’s dozen different versions of their BBC travelling cookery show, produced six books to date, including four best-selling titles, and appeared on several televised general knowledge quizzes such as The Weakest Link, Mastermind and Countdown.
It really is quite an unusual and somewhat unlikely show with the pair of them doing more stand-up than cooking. Dave and Si’s motorised arrival onto the stage is something to behold and from this point on it is obvious that there’s a great big dollop of fun to be had. In a mix of live action and video clips on the large screen behind them, the audience are treated to bouts of silliness throughout with engaging recollections of their backgrounds, their travels and their passions. Stomachs are turned over tales of the Vietnamese food they sampled and some possibly turned again later during an entertaining forfeit.
But it isn’t all just slapstick and dancing. There is happily a healthy portion of cooking involved during this eclectic show. Two lucky audience members are invited up onto stage for a cosy ‘intimate’ dinner for two where they are treated to spring onion pakora and low fat chicken jalfrezi with the rest of the audience making do with the sublime aromas wafting around the theatre and a bird’s eye view of the action through the hand held camera. The smells alone, which are intensified further when a further tête-à-tête takes place over warm salad and pan fried salmon, are enough to drive book sales even further through the kitchen roof.
It takes a strong relationship to withstand so much time together, both publicly and privately but this doesn’t appear to be an issue for Dave and Si. It’s the natural, unaffected, easy going relationship displayed by these two pals which makes them so appealing. Whether they’re talking about their travels, doing a tango, or having a bit of light hearted banter with each other about the verbal gaff that the other just made, you can’t help but feel you’re part of their gang and that you go away with a few secrets on life and cooking. And to let you into one little secret, the Jalfrezi was amazing.