The Internet Is Divided On GBBO: The Musical

What do you do when you've got time on your hands during a lockdown? Research stories that would make great musicals? Probably not, but that's exactly what co-writers Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger did. Their latest production, "The Great British Bake Off: The Musical," premiered in the U.K. last month with some interesting reactions from both critics and the public alike (via BBC).

The writers met at Bristol University in 2008 and have produced eight musicals to date including "Treasure Island," "Jet Set Go!," and "Prodigy." The Stage described them as "one of the most exciting musical theatre writing teams working in the U.K. today" (via Jake Brunger's website

"The Great British Bake Off: The Musical" debuted at the Everyman Theatre in the U.K. It's a comedy that features 16 songs and the story follows two judges – Phil (John Owen-Jones) and Pam (Rosemary Ashe) – plus two presenters and eight contestants as they experience the ups and downs of competing for the title of Star Baker (via Everyman Theatre). But would critics eat it up?

Soggy bottom or smash hit in the baking?

If you were hoping to see Paul Hollywood or Prue Leith break into song, though, you may be disappointed. While the GBBO personalities are alluded to, the characters are not meant to imitate the judges or presenters. "It was very important to both Rosie and I, and the whole team, that we had to reflect what was on screen – but we didn't want to copy it," Jake Brunger told the BBC. "So what we do is a very affectionate homage to the real people."

The Guardian gave the musical 3 stars, saying that it had a "sugary plot with over-egged characters."  The reviewer was underwhelmed by how the adaptation "tied the show together with a sickly sweet love story." Whereas What's On Stage, gave it 4 stars and insisted that "this gorgeous confection is an authentic crowd pleaser, and more oven-ready than several shows we've seen in the West End of late." 

A Reddit user posed the question: "A Great British Bake Off Musical, do we really need it?" Replies were mixed with jokes about wanting to see a musical number titled "Paul's Handshake." Some answered with an unequivocal "no."  Some Redditors said they would absolutely see the musical. And one felt that it "sound[ed] like a better, more original idea than 90% of the movie musicals from the last several years."