As Madness fashioned itself after Stanley Kubrick's film Dr Strangelove, this new piece finds inspiration in stage classic An Inspector Calls, with the form of JB Priestley's 1946 anti-war thriller applied to the modern situation in Iraq, making for an immaculate evening of entertainment.
Butcher flexes his political muscles with a finely crafted play, that combines crude humour and soft-shoe musical numbers, topped with inspiring thoughts on relations between Bush and Blair. In other words, Butcher has taken the sad state of current affairs, put it in a blender, added a heap of comedy, and then pushed the button for puree to create 'brilliance'.
Butcher's stage world is led by an angelic, baritone-belting Tony Blear, played with acute comic timing by Alasdair Craig, and a thumb-sucking George Dubya, portrayed by Andrew Harrison with pinpoint caricatured accuracy, a modern-day Ms Malaprop.
Harrison and Craig's individual triumphs are supported by an energetic and well-disciplined ensemble of players: James Pearce, as Pops Bush, delivers a Shakespearean-esque soliloquy that's as uproariously funny as it is compelling; Matthew Dominic takes to Vice-President Elect Arnie Schwartzenegger with gusto; and Rupert Mason turns in a spot-on showing as Donald 'Rummy' Rumsfeld.
Setting the comic value A Weapon Inspector Calls aside, Butcher really does hit the heart with some of the gut-wrenching facts he brings to the forefront - moments of 'awe' delivered with a straight-faced composure by Mark Heenehan as Weapons Inspector Dan Styx. The result is not only a more compelling dramatic world, but heated debate fodder for days, if not weeks, to come.
Admittedly, the singing isn't worthy of a busker's five pence, but it added to the sheer delight of an evening that includes several nods to musical theatre favourites of past and present.
More importantly, though, Butcher has constructed a powerful soapbox for espousing his savvy political views, and his words leave the theatre pulsing with energy. Political satire is alive and well in Islington.