Jane Asher judges Islington bake off

Actor and cake expert Jane Asher judged Islington’s amateur bakers this week – as the curtain fell on a month-long festival at one of the borough’s most popular theatres.

The thespian-turned-cake guru was at the Almeida Theatre in Almeida Street, Islington, as it hosted a lively street party to mark the end of its Almeida Festival on Sunday.

Almeida Street was closed to traffic for an afternoon of barbecue food, music, face painting and hat-making workshops – as well as the fiercely-contested bake-off.

After tasting all 17 entries, Asher chose a chocolate cake served up by student Grace Clark as the winner.

Ms Clark, 20, who won two theatre tickets and dinner at the Almeida Restaurant, also in Almeida Street, said: “I didn’t think it looked that good so she must have chosen it on the taste! I was really pleased. I didn’t think I would win because it’s the first time I’ve baked it.”

The theatre opened its doors to the public with backstage tours hosted throughout the day, while a group of revellers even got the chance to star on its stage. A community play was rehearsed and performed by volunteers in the space of an hour.

Jenny Worton, the Almeida’s artistic associate, who organised the event, said: “We wanted a celebratory flourish to the end of the festival and it went really well.

Most Read

“We managed to open the building in a way we don’t usually have the opportunity to do, because of the busy programme, and the place was abuzz with families and young children.”

The four-week festival saw the building turned into a “theatre brothel” by the Greyscale theatre company, performances form the underground Belarus Free Theatre, and a play staged by the Young Friends of the Almeida.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter