Thursday, 9 May 2013

YES, PRIME MINISTER (UK Tour) Review May 2013

Almost 30 years after the TV series was first broadcast and following three successful seasons in the West End, the stage play of Yes, Prime Minister is now into the latter venues of a UK tour. 

The play by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn is up to date and mirrors the current  political situation with PM Jim Hacker  as head of the coalition. The scenario however remains much the same, with Hacker as ever reliant upon Sir Humphrey Appleby - Cabinet Secretary and ridiculously long-winded speaker. 

Michael Fenton Stevens is fascinating in the title role. His frustration and uncertainty is worrying but most humorous. Superbly acted, the man who is supposedly in charge - tirelessly seeking the help of his advisors who's plans progress further than any of his own. Interestingly, the cast keep a believable approach to a scenario that is perhaps slightly ludicrous - go and find three illegal immigrant call girls  (who we can easily deport afterwards) for the Kumranistan foreign Minister Mr Artikeev, so he will agree to a 10 trillion dollar loan... Farcical at times, but cleverly reigned back in avoid cheapening the humour. Farcical maybe in reality, who knows what goes on behind the closed doors of number 10, or indeed Chequers, the country residence where we find ourselves for this play. 

The setting of Chequers makes for a lavish set, designed by Simon Higlett. With beautiful autumn tress outside of the window in which rain trickles down, bookshelves aplenty with hidden doors and a clever use of television screens at various heights on the proscenium. The interview news broadcast is filmed live on stage and shown on the screens as it would appear in your home. 

Crispin Redman and Michael Matus as Sir Humphrey and Bernard Woolley work the space well, with frantic movement and comical presence to keep this from becoming the static and dialogue-heavy play that it is initially. There is plenty of guffawing from an audience of a reminiscent age.

In office at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 11th May - book here

No comments:

Post a Comment