You Absolutely CANNOT Eat This Cake At The London Palladium

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 17 months ago
You Absolutely CANNOT Eat This Cake At The London Palladium
A huge cake in a glass cake, shaped like the Palladium
Good luck getting a slice of this. Image: Londonist

During the interval in the London Palladium's Variety Bar, by all means have a glass of wine, tuck into a tub of Yorkshire popcorn... but DO NOT eat the cake!

To be honest, you'll struggle to get a slice: the architectural feat of a cake — baked in 2010 to mark 100 years of the Frank Matcham-designed theatre — is securely kept in a glass case.

Two iced on poster bills for The Wizard of Oz and Round about Regent Street
Seen it hundreds of times. Seen it... never. Image: Londonist

Shaped in the ornate style of the Palladium itself — complete with corinthian columns, proscenium arch, and topped by a kicking chorus line — the cake is decorated with miniature posters bills of the various shows that've played here over the years, from familiar names like The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music, to rather forgotten ones like 1936's Round About Regent Street.

Dancing girls around a number 100 on top of the cake
If those dancing girls are made out of icing, then paint us impressed. Image: Londonist

Photos show the cake being cut on 26 December 2010 by West End impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, actor and singer Danielle Hope, and Bruce Forsyth — who hosted Tonight at the London Palladium on and off between 1958 and 2000. Indeed, the comedian/presenter's ashes were laid to rest beneath the Palladium stage following his death in 2018, with the Daily Star, perhaps inevitably, soon after claiming that Brucie now haunts the theatre with his "friendly presence". (Presumably if you stumbled across his spectre you'd be terrified to see him, to see him terrified.)

Iced billboards for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Sound of Music
Not a bad double bill. Image: Londonist

We reckon Brucie was only posing with that cake knife (much like he posed with a knife in Bedknobs and Broomsticks), because all these years later, the iced confection appears to still be in one piece, and anyway, a humbler cake was made available for munching on the day.

Theatrelovers reading this will, by now, be muttering something about the 'Baddeley Cake', a slice of which has been enjoyed by actors at the Drury Lane theatre every 6 January since 1795. The tradition was created by not-particularly-good actor Robert Baddeley, leaving in his will a small amount of money "to the purchase of wine, punch, and a Twelfth Night cake for the ladies and gentlemen of Drury Lane to enjoy in the green room forever after."

Frank Turner and Gary Magold pose by the replica royal wedding cake they helped put together with the British Sugarcraft Guild, on show at Peek Freans Biscuit Museum. Image: Londonist/Paige Kahn

(We should, however, point out that a fresh Baddeley cake is baked each year, rather than repeatedly wheeling out a 220+year-old-thing for another grotesque nibble.)

For more ancient cake action, visit the wonderful Peek Freans Biscuit Museum in Bermondsey, where you'll be greeted by a replica of a wedding cake expertly crafted to celebrate the late Elizabeth II's marriage to Philip in 1947. There can't be many wedding cakes to feature iced battleships.

In 2016, Christie's auctioned off a slice of Queen Victoria's wedding cake for £1,500.

Last Updated 03 November 2022

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