Sunday, 13 May 2012

Yes, Prime Minister

Yes, Prime Minister 
Darlington Civic Theatre 

There is currently a trend for transporting TV comedies to the stage. In recent times I have seen - and enjoyed – stage versions of Steptoe and SonDad’s ArmyPorridge, Up Pompeii and Hi-de-Hi.  

Last week it was time to see Yes, Prime Minister, which had done very well on the West End before heading out on tour. The script, by original TV writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, sets a high standard which the cast are equal to. We are given a fly on the wall view of shady political machinations as Prime Minister Jim Hacker desperately battles to find straight forward answers buried deep within the rhetoric of Sir Humphrey Appleby (Cabinet Secretary) and Bernard Woolley (Principal Private Secretary). 

Everything at Chequers (represented by a magnificent set) seems to be just about under control (despite the Prime Minister’s total bemusement) until they receive an unusual request from the Kumranistan Ambassador, which appears to place the PM in a lose/lose situation. The request (a liaison with a school girl) is clearly outrageous, but the solution to the UK’s financial meltdown demands the cooperation of Kumranistan. 

To make matters worse, amid the spin, double dealings and general political mayhem, the BBC are coming to interview the Prime Minister, live on TV, and to appear ‘courageous’ is considered to be a fatal error. The ‘nick of time’ solution to the problem is achieved only after a couple of hours of genuinely laugh out loud moments, resting mainly on extremely clever word play, brilliantly delivered by the cast, and reaction acting of the highest calibre.

Yes, Prime Minister is a very clever and extremely entertaining show. The laughs certainly haven’t been subjected to any cuts in the humour budget and the whole thing was considerably more engaging than anything the world of real-life politics has to offer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am amazed you liked this, It was a poor episode of the TV series dragged out at best.