Who’s Coming to Dinner: Table Manners at Queen’s Hall Edinburgh

Image courtesy of The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
Image courtesy of The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Table Manners

The Queen’s Hall
85-89 Clerk St
Edinburgh & the Lothians

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The award-winning no.1 smash-hit podcast Table Manners embarks on a debut live UK tour. Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie Ware have taken the hugely enjoyable and hilarious podcast on the road with many special guests joining them for each show to chat about cooking, family, life and everything in between. Table Manners Live made its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe and has now returned. The show will head to Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and London Palladium.

The podcast is now in its 13th season and has remained very much ‘business as usual’ throughout the pandemic while Jessie and Lennie served virtual dinner parties loosely covering topics such as food, music, lifestyle, culture, and politics. They’ve hosted an array of personalities from Michael Bublé, Dua Lipa, Sir Paul McCartney, David Schwimmer, Ed Sheeran, Dolly Parton, Maisie Williams, John Legend, Elizabeth Olsen, and many more. Listener numbers are at an all-time high for the podcast as it hit over 30 million downloads.

In 2020 they published their first cookbook Table Manners: The Cookbook, divided into Effortless, A Bit More Effort, Summertime, Desserts, and Baking (thanks to Jessie’s brother Alex), Chrismukkah (Christmas, Hanukkah, and celebrations) and, of course, Jewish-ish Food.

The special guest of the night in Edinburgh was Sophie Ellis Bextor, an English singer, and songwriter who entered the spotlight in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the indie rock band Theaudience. Her solo career has been hugely successful and her lockdown kitchen discos have made her a beacon of light for many who struggled through the restrictions, and a companion for those who wanted to get their groove on on a Friday night. In November 2021, Ellis Bextor embarked on a 24-hour Kitchen Disco Danceathon, in aid of Children in Need and raised over £1million for the cause.

When Jessie announces who the guest is, the audience becomes even giddier and the cheers seem never-ending. The three ladies hit it off instantly and the conversation flows as well as the champagne. Ware is a born performer and connects with the audience from the very beginning, asking questions and walking around the hall passing on the microphone. The night truly feels like an evening with friends you have known for a long time.

The format never feels forced or rehearsed, the atmosphere is fantastic and everyone seems to be having a great time. The show was split into two parts: one a conversation with the guest and a Q&A, the second a Jessie and Lennie Q&A, and a hilarious quiz as a cherry on top. It is clear that the star of the night is Lennie Ware, who gets the most questions and requests for pictures during the break. There is one surprise awaiting you at the end of the show, but to avoid spoiling the fun, we shall keep this a secret. If you are looking for a fun night out with your friends, this is it. The perfect tonic for a world post-pandemic; you will feel empowered, uplifted, and sore from all the belly laughs. The show is a perfect incarnation of the podcast and offers an often intimate insight into the hosts’ and guests’ life and thoughts. The Ware duo is a great mix of nosey-ness and cheeky (but always respectful) banter. 

With thanks to Joanna Zuchowska for this review.

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