HARRY HILL TAKES ON TONY BLAIR. FIIIIIIIGHHHT!!!!
I couldn’t be extra delighted that it’s touring, this splendidly impolite present. We want this type of merrily offensive burlesque, within the burlesqueable occasions we stay in. Though really it’s set within the comparatively sober period of Tony Blair. So I repeat my overview, adjusted for the way it feels on a proscenium quite than the intimate wraparound of Park Theatre.
Its spirit is of cheerful contempt and joyful pastiche. It’s a Sweeney-Todd sound that opens the present: “`Put together! To be made Conscious! Of essentially the most profitable Labour Premi-er! Now a Millionaire!”. A deathbed scene book-ends the present as Blair’s life develops and musically it slides away from this transient Sondheimery into – a wild gallimaufry of music: rap and faucet, ballad, high-school cheerleader rom-com moments, Lehrer, Handel, and when Gordon Brown explains financial principle (quite nostalgic, the sheer good sense of it) a booming hymn with church-organ. That Harry Hill is the author explains the rumbustious irreverence of it, however Steve Brown’s tunes and lyrics are a lot of its glory.
It’s an absurdist however pinsharp demolition of the character and pretensions of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (Charlie BAker, grinning for England). That is at all times topical, for he’s nonetheless endlessly sidling into the limelight telling the world how one can behave. There’s actual contempt for spin, self-importance, the Iraq invasion and the grinning PM’s therapy of poor Gordon Brown along with his basso-profundo and tartan underpants (GB doesn’t care about trouserlessness “politics isnt about picture”. There are sparkles of rage amid the wonderful Hill jokes and barbed, fastidiously finessed and divinely foolish rhymes.
Right here is the walk-on-water smugness, the harmless grin, Ugly Rumours, the conversion to Labour in a masterful Cherie’s arms, the TB-GB rivalry neatly depicted in a boxing ring, the oleaginous Mandelson (Howard Samuels having fun with the job of each narrating and managing, and providing a depraved death-of-Diana second by manipulating a balloon-dog with nice talent to point out how New Labour can “form the grief, harness the grief and trip it again to No.10!”.)
Its conclusion daringly veers from the sharp onerous solemnity of the 100,000 deaths in our unlawful battle’s alliance, to a problem to the viewers (“you voted me again! Sure, after Iraq!”) . It concludes with the triumphant refrain “The Entire Huge World is run by assholes”, with names and photos of the world’s tyrants and pretenders from il-Jung to Hitler, now reversing to an enormous shot of Putin, the type of all of them.
Altogether a pleasure, a schandenfreude toybox. The second when Gordon Brown finally will get the recent seat and picks up the telephone to the information of Lehman Brothers is magic and the worldwide politics, guyed with a viciousness few satirists accomplish that effectively, embrace Dick Cheney ’s “What would jesus do – bomb each final motherfucking one in all them!” and how poor Saddam Hussein moaning on the telephone to Bin Laden concerning the stupidity of “rattling their cages”, earlier than skipping right into a self-exculpating neo- G and S quantity – “I didn’t do something mistaken” . Bin Laden in the meantime sings that there’s “just one factor I detest – the whole inhabitants of the west! So unrepressed!”.
Leicester Sq. Theatre until 25 Might
BUT TOUR DATES until 14 Oct nationwide: tonyblairrockopera.co.uk
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