Comedy will take the cake
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.