REVIEW: Comedy Premier - Yes, Prime Minister at Buxton Opera House

Graham Seed and Michael Simkins in Yes Prime Minister
Graham Seed and Michael Simkins in Yes Prime Minister

Who knew politics could be this much fun!

The hilarious hit stage version of the TV classic Yes, Prime Minister opened at Buxton Opera House on Tuesday night and offered some light relief in a time of growing economic uncertainty.

The plot is bang up to date: a Prime Minister leading a coalition government as the country faces financial crisis. A refreshing change... well, at least we can all laugh this time!

Salvation rests with striking a deal with a little-known country, Kumranistan, but just how far will the UK go in the name of foreign relations?

In the role as the blundering and eccentric PM was Graham Seed – known for his long stint as Nigel Pargetter in radio soap The Archers but proving equally adept treading the boards as a hysterical Hacker faced with one crisis after another.

Alongside him, and played to great effect by Michael Simkins, was the smooth and cunning Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby, committed to self-preservation and too many words. Expect plenty of comedy ping-pong between these two.

Completing the strong line-up of Hacker’s ‘crisis’ team is Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley (Clive Wayward) and Special Policy Advisor Claire Sutton (Polly Maberly). Support comes from Sam Dastor as the Kumranistan Ambassador and Tony Boncza as the BBC’s Director-General. And watch out for the play’s very own BBC presenter Jeremy Burnham, played by Tim Wallers.

The two-act comedy is set in a room at the PM’s country residence Chequers - an elegant and well-designed set.

And credit to writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn for a script filled with humorous gags and near-the-knuckle one-liners.

Yes, Prime Minister runs at Buxton Opera House until Saturday.

JD

Yes, Prime Minister runs at Buxton Opera House until Saturday. Performances take place each evening at 7.30pm, with 2.30pm matinees on Thursday and Saturday. Tickets, priced from £15 to £27.50, are available from the Box Office on 0845 127 2190 or online at www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.