Com­edy will take the cake

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

Josh Earl brings his stage The Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly Chil­dren’s Birthday Cake Book to The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast. Earl de­vised the show, which glee­fully evokes the retro charm of the store-bought sponge cake in 2010. Why? ‘‘I was per­form­ing my show Josh Earl is a Li­brar­ian,’’ he says. ‘‘There was a brief men­tion of the book, and ev­ery time it came up, the au­di­ence went nuts; it would ruin the rest of the show be­cause peo­ple kept ask­ing me to talk about it.’’ Earl has taken a lit­tle artis­tic li­cence – Josh Earl vs The Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly Chil­dren’s Birthday Cake Book is filled with anec­dotes and im­ages of trains loaded with pop­corn and swim­ming pools made of jelly but is not re­ally about the book. ‘‘It’s re­ally about my mum,’’ Earl says. ‘‘I talk about her a lot, which my dad isn’t very happy about, be­cause I don’t talk about him much at all. Ac­tu­ally, my mum wishes I would talk a lot less about her.’’

It’s a fact, how­ever, that Lyn Earl was the birthday-cake queen, pro­duc­ing stun­ning cre­ations with the help of the Women’s Weekly, not just for her three sons and their cousins but, at the be­hest of other moth­ers, for count­less other chil­dren in the neigh­bour­hood.

She worked off the 1985 orig­i­nal, a pub­li­ca­tion her son feels Women’s Weekly has been hard-pressed to match since. Now a Mel­bur­nian, Earl grew up in Burnie and stud­ied the­atre in Launce­s­ton. He was dis­cov­ered at a com­edy night. Spots at the Ed­in­burgh Fringe fol­lowed.

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