City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Yes, Prime Minister, King's Theatre Review


By Alex Eades - Posted on 14 March 2011

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Yes, PM.jpg
Show Details
Venue: 
King's Theatre
Company: 
CFT
Production: 
Jonathan Lynn (Director), Simon Higlett (Designer), Tim Mitchell (Lighting Designer), Andrea J Cox (Sound), Bill Butler (Costume Designer).
Performers: 
Simon Williams (Sir Humphrey), Chris Larkin (Bernard Woolley), Richard McCabe (Jim Hacker), Charlotte Lucas (Claire Sutton), Kevork Malikyan ( The Kumranistan Ambassador), Jonathan Coote (Jeremy Burnham), Michael Fenton Stevens (Simon Chester).

I have to confess that I have not spent too much time watching the much-loved TV series. Not because I thought little of it. Apart from torturing myself with the news, television does not really have much of a place in my life. And frankly, the morning news provides me with more than enough hilarity/fury/blood riddled vomit to put me off the wheeling and dealings of British government ministers for the rest of the day and beyond.

That said, I could not resist the prospect of some witty, intelligent banter from the ever lovable Sir Humphreys and Prime Minister Jim Hacker.

So, I turn off News 24, pack my notepad and a spare paper bag (just in case) and make my way for an evening with the British cabinet's elite.

Written specifically for the stage, this hilarious production brings us bang up to date with the political zeitgeist. Financial meltdown, global warming, the EU and Blackberry are all beating at the brains of the administration, made all the more absurd by the morally dubious request of the Foreign Minister of Kumranistan......a request that could pull the country away from the brink of financial crisis.

As you would probably expect from the same team that brought you the television series, the script is razor sharp and lighting fast. There are more jokes and witty one-liners in the first act than you would find in an entire series of the so-called comedy programs available these days.

Some of the jokes, admittedly, are a little dodgy and a trifle predictable, but for the most part, at the very least, they could raise a cheerful chuckle amongst the audience. At their best, the actors had to wait for us to catch our breath.

The acting is sublime and comic timing second to none. Simon William’s Sir Humphrey is a work of absolute genius. Ridiculously intelligent and effortlessly running the government machine, he is also devious and in it just for himself. But we love him and want him to succeed. In a country that voted Tony Blair into office, this perhaps says more about us than anything else.

The theatre of politics has never been so colourful and, most definitely, so intelligent. Yes, Prime Minister, you get my vote.

Edinburgh show's now ended

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