Crispin Redman, Indra Ové & Michael Fenton Stevens(photo: Dan Tsantilis)
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
11 February 2013 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Fans of the 1980s television series Yes, Prime Minister won’t be disappointed by this modern incarnation of the hit show on the stage. Set in the Prime Minister’s private office in Chequers, the play follows Jim Hacker, the amiable but slightly dim Prime Minister, and his scheming Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey as they try to secure a deal to get Europe out of debt and England into the Euro.
A word of caution; if you are more akin to reading Facebook posts than newspapers, then the majority of the witty word-play may escape you – but if you have more than one subscription to a broadsheet, then you will be absolutely tickled pink with
Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn’s double-entendres and tongue-trickery. If the first act is dedicated to Crispin Redman’s Machiavellian Sir Humphrey’s scheming and astoundingly complex monologues, then the second act brings out the sublimely ridiculous in Michael Fenton Stevens’ Jim Hacker. These two opponents are completely evenly matched in their witty sparring and Lynn’s punchy direction has the audiences in stitches, hoots and titters throughout the show.
As the PM’s Principal Private Secretary, Bernard Woolley
Michael Matus is jolly good fun and manages to convey a sense of innocence, idiocy and good-natured academia that provides an excellent foil to Sir Humphrey. Seeing him be “casual” was painfully funny and so reminiscent of middle-class men trying to be “down with the kids” by listening to 50 Cent. As the Prime Minister’s special advisor Claire Sutton, [Indra Ové] is slightly exaggerated and not particularly convincing. Although she has flashes of comic timing, the majority of her dialogue sounds smug and lacking in finesse.
Simon Higlett’s set is warmly inviting without looking too homely and certainly looks like the office of the most important man in the country. The modern domination of the role of the media is emphasised by large television sets suspended above the stage, while more than one bottle of scotch is drunk/ thrown about/ launched at the luxurious furniture. This battle of wits and wills is definitely a must-see for fans of the television series – or indeed anyone who likes their satire witty, but without too ferocious a bite. - by Roz Carter Related Content Back to Southeast Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...