Review: Yes, Prime Minister

During a year of political uncertainty and diversification, never more has one wanted so much to be a fly on the wall in the Prime Minister’s office. The power balance inside politics has shifted significantly and I can’t help thinking that this satirical political romp may not be altogether too far from the truth.

Writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn bring our old TV favourite to the stage with a bang up to date storyline, comically shadowing the true political world.  Prime Minister Jim Hacker is now haplessly fumbling his way through a Global financial crisis as the leader of a party clinging on to a threadbare majority in a hung parliament.  In these difficult political times, this is a storyline that ticks every box.

It would be wrong to compare this to the original television series as it is not a stage replica but a reinvention.  The plot twists and turns freely, tortuously contorting and thickening to great hilarity.  David Haig as the buffoon Prime Minister is brilliant, panicked and flapping as the ever-dependent who is however equally adorable and needy.  Henry Goodman as the silvery-tongued Sir Humphrey Appleby is splendid with his verbose ramblings and explanations delivered with great precision.  Jonathan Slinger as the cerebal Bernard Woolley, shrinking in discomfort at the moral conundrums, provides a physicality to the comedy and balance between the characters.  This pacey and quick witted piece unfolds with farcical speed, mirthfully captivating its audience.

Simon Higlett’s design is a clean and grand presentation of the Prime Minister’s study at Chequers and no amount of detail is overlooked.  With gloriously naturalistic lighting (Tim Mitchell) and even rain trickling down the windows in a celestial lightening storm, the set is uncomplicated and continually interesting to the eye.

These topical and hilarious coming and goings of the leaders of our country provide a most satisfying and entertaining lift from the real-life political dismay happening outside the walls of the theatre.

Copyright © theatreJunki 2010.

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