18 Nov

“best comedy of the year”

It is 2020. The Rt Hon Adam Masters is a happy bunny. He has just been elected Prime Minister after all the chaos and confusion in the Tory Party and he has been chosen because he seems to be the only one that is not particularly interested in anything and least likely to make a fuss. He is full of confidence, thinks that PMQ is a lot of fun. He has just promised to create a more United Kingdom than ever before. Everyone agrees with his plan for Brexit…What was it again?

However he has a Campaign Manager Paul Connell who is less enthusiastic, much more practical who doubts whether Adam will last longer than Andrew Bonar Law who served for two hundred and eleven days. However he believes his job is over as Campaign Manager, but Adam wants him to remain as chief of staff. (The previous PM having taken everybody away with her)

Paul reminds him that there are still two people are missing from the Cabinet. The secretaries of Trade and Brexit which will go to the two warring factions within the Party. Two people needing jobs. Simon Cavendish who hates anything to do with trade and Diana Purdy who loathes Brexit. So inevitably Simon gets Trade and Diana gets Brexit. Adam reckons that if they fight each other all the time, they will not fight him. Meanwhile Adam is also holding talks with Helena Brim in Belgium who is offering deals to get back into Europe – at a price!.

It is a completely believable terrifying and yet hilarious situation. Well known truths, scandalous doings, spiteful digs at the Press and the BBC. The kind of things we are all used to and reminding us of the bitter comedy of our lives.

It is as if the authors had been actually looking into the future when they wrote this a couple of years ago because many of the stories illustrated here have become the true state of affairs.

Brexit has been put off again. The PM doesn’t seem to mind the situation and will go on hanging on as it doesn’t interfere with his own general happiness.

Tom Salinsky who is the co writer has directed and cast his characters quite brilliantly. Playing the PM is Timothy Bentinck whose voice is well known from his stint at the Archers. He manages to produce exactly the same dithery naivete and confusion as the great Paul Eddington in Yes Prime Minister.

The only voice of reason in the entire disaster is Paul played by Mike McShane.The warring factions Diana and Simon are Pippa Evans and Hal Cruttenden and Helena of Belgium is the very glamorous and sophisticated Jo Caulfield.

It is a simple setting on the tiny stage which serves well as a Parliamentary office. Just a couple of chairs either side of a large desk. Lighting by Nicholas Holdridge, music and sound by Jamie Robertson, concentrate the focus on the splendid cast..

The characters and the plot are so easily recognised. Lawyer Robert Khan is a councillor so has a good few ideas on how the bitchery axes are hidden and wielded in the world of Politics.

Wonderfully funny – probably the best comedy of the year.

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