Theatre review: Cauliflower, PBH's Free Fringe, Edinburgh

In an animal-print onesie, Ellie, from Leeds, talks to us about her favourite junk foods.

An appealing counter-narrative to authoritarian food messages
An appealing counter-narrative to authoritarian food messages

Cauliflower, PBH's Free Fringe @ Bar Bados Complex (Venue 32) * * *

With comic songs and poems, including lines such as "everyone loves a dumpling" and "dip your sausages in chocolate", the show starts off with conversational food-themed chat, full of nostalgia for monster munch and flumps, but develops into a subversive shout-out to anyone who's sick of the diet police to just "eat the cake."

Ellie's mother's desire to help her grow bigger as a child is contrasted with a desire to slim her down as an adult, with her nickname 'Cauliflower', both a health food and, with cheese, the opposite. When everything from palm oil to eggs to meat has an issue, what exactly can you eat these days, Ellie asks. Chips, seems to be the conclusion.

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    Created by performance poet Jemima Foxtrot and playwright and performer Leila Nashef, it's a piece that's perfectly happy to ignore the obvious problems of continually stuffing you face, in favour of a call to "eat the world" and damn the consequences.

    However, it's an appealing counter-narrative to authoritarian food messages elsewhere – one that ends with an S-Club inspired "reach for the chocolate bars" that is joyful in all of its ill-advised logic.

    Until 24 August.