The Three Lions (Edinburgh Fringe)
William Gaminara's new comedy at the Pleasance Courtyard reveals happens when a footballer, a prince and a prime minister walk into a hotel room
Have you seen the one about Prince William, David Beckham and David Cameron holed up in a Swiss hotel bedroom preparing England's bid to host the World Cup soccer competition of 2018?
Well, here it is, courtesy of playwright William Gaminara and a production by Philip Wilson that scores one fabulous satirical bullseye in Sean Browne's bearded, beaming mannequin of a Beckham and two near-misses with the other two.
The bid ended in failure, not surprisingly given the farcical lack of organisation in the hotel, where a callow PA Penny (Alice Bailey-Johnson) muddles the rooming arrangements and gives access to various insalubrious types who wreak havoc.
Both performances are fairly funny, especially when double-taking on Browne's clever knack of making Beckham at once charming and amazingly thick. Trousers are dropped, and there's even a CTV camera shot of Boris Johnson (wasn't Philip Seymour Hoffman available to play him?) debagging the Prince, prompting further exchanges resulting in Cameron being painfully poured into a pair of Becks's crotch-hugging Armanis.
This valiant attempt to mix an impressions show with Brian Rix doesn't fully succeed, but Festival audiences might be in the mood for this sort of thing, and there's a prescient (for the year, 2010) finale with Cameron calling up Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch to mitigate the cock-up.
The Three Lions continues at the Pleasance Courtyard until 26 August 2013 (not 13, 20)