I have to admit that I have never seen Hardeep Singh Kohli on television but I thought that his comedy-come-cookery show sounded interesting and I was intrigued to see how it would work on stage. It didn’t.
The first problem was that Hardeep expected the audience to bring ingredients with them – Ready, Steady Cook style – which he would use to create a dish. None of the audience members (myself included) had been aware of this, so he ended up making soup using his own ingredients. Watching somebody make soup is probably not the most exciting way to spend an hour, but it was particularly painful in this case as you couldn’t actually see any of the cooking taking place. We spent an hour looking at the work surface and a pot. All of this would have been fine if the comedy element had been strong enough to carry the show on its own. Unfortunately Hardeep’s delivery was disjointed as he interrupted his anecdotes to check on the soup, and this left the audience frustrated as they waited to hear the end of a promising story.
Having said this, his stories and jokes were entertaining, and Hardeep does come across as a likeable personality. I’m sure he can effortlessly entertain guests while cooking at home. It’s just a pity that it doesn’t quite work as a show on this scale.