From comedy about carveries to clean-eating rants, food is a huge theme at this year’s festival fringe. The Guardian’s restaurant critic gets stuck in At Valvona & Crolla, a venerable Edinburgh deli dating from 1934, I am eating arancini for breakfast and trying to make sense of the abundance of food-related shows at this year’s fringe. For three days, I’ve plodded rain-drenched backstreets, consuming hours of drama, comedy and performance art about eating. I’ve watched comfort food cabarets and comedy about the Toby Carvery, listened to rants about clean eating and calorific excess and met (albeit figuratively) the young women who tested Hitler’s dinner each evening for poison. There has been immigration-based drama Citizens of Nowhere?, staged in the kitchen of a Novotel hotel, and a Fawlty Towers dining experience where a man with a stick-on moustache and a faux-Spanish accent proffers waldorf salad to fans of the 70s sitcom. In Hold On Let Go, a drama with music by Paul Smith from Maximo Park, bread is baked live on stage. Despite all the walking, I’ve gained extra pounds, having eaten chocolate mousse made by an Australian woman singing Teenage Dream by Katy Perry as she whisked, plus a weirdly delicious chicken caesar salad made in a cement mixer by the anarchist cook George Egg.
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