I’ve just been to see Yes, Prime Minister at Trafalgar Studios and thought you might like to read a quick review. If you remember the classic TV series you’ll almost certainly love it, and if you didn’t get to watch the telly prog then you’ll be glad to hear that it stands up as a one-off play in its own right.
The story centres around hapless publicity-hungry prime minister Jim Hacker and amoral, nest-feathering senior civil servant Sir Humphrey and their battles with public events, behind-the-scenes happenings, and each other.
The show’s formula has been updated to reflect the coalition government and recent events, and it’s fun to watch all the unsympathetic, self-interested characters tying themselves into knots trying to capitalise on the various scenarios that unfold.
There are jokes about oil, deputy prime ministers, people being completely unqualified for their jobs (including running the country), misappropriation of manpower and property, blackmail, phone hacking and general sleaze. Even if you aren’t a political animal, these jokes are brave and funny, and there’s even a bit of slapstick thrown in for good measure.
It all takes place over the course of one weekend at Chequers, mostly in the Prime Minister’s private study, and involves a motley parade of characters from ‘private advisers’ to pervy ambassadors. The cast are all excellent.
To sum up: a very good night out from a classic-formula show that’s been brought right up to date. There are some very good ticket deals available this week, so if you’re quick you might be able to find tickets for less than £10.
For more details, have a look at their official website, yesprimeminister.co.uk.