Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeEventThe satirical Tony! The Tony Blair Rock Opera at Park Theatre is...

The satirical Tony! The Tony Blair Rock Opera at Park Theatre is a raucous New Labour spoof that’s not afraid of a cheap laugh

Tony! The Tony Blair Rock Opera

Park Theatre, London                                                     Until July 9, 2hrs 10mins

Rating:

This is a raucous spoof musical at the expense of New Labour and the embarrassing era of Cool Britannia.

It’s good to see a show – a rock satire with a hint of summer panto – that cheerfully gives New Labour a kicking on the 25th anniversary of its landslide Election.

The co-author of this is jokesmith and TV presenter Harry Hill, who is unafraid of a cheap laugh. This has its hiccups but it’s generally a hoot – and merciless to boot.

As the great leader, Charlie Baker (above) simply gives us a grinning, moronic creature, putty in the claws of Peter Mandelson (Howard Samuels exuding camp smarminess) As the great leader, Charlie Baker (above) simply gives us a grinning, moronic creature, putty in the claws of Peter Mandelson (Howard Samuels exuding camp smarminess)

As the great leader, Charlie Baker (above) simply gives us a grinning, moronic creature, putty in the claws of Peter Mandelson (Howard Samuels exuding camp smarminess)

The cast is in dark suits, red ties and big wigs. The story is told from Tony’s death bed: flashback to Tony at Oxford University, then as member for Sedgefield, then Prime Minister, with poor grouchy Gordon Brown always getting second billing.

In No 10 you get Noel Gallagher skulking about and Cherie Blair centre stage. She’s a brassy Scouse slapper – part Lily Savage, part Cilla Black – in Holly Sumpton’s delightful rendition.

As the great leader, Charlie Baker simply gives us a grinning, moronic creature, putty in the claws of Peter Mandelson (Howard Samuels exuding camp smarminess).

The way Blair milks Princess Diana’s death is duly revolting and the show’s best punch. This Diana (Madison Swan, all downcast eyes and very funny) escapes the fake reverence for her shown in The Crown.

Other laughs? Well, there’s Neil Kinnock (Martin Johnston as a Welsh windbag with a comb-over that looks like sofa stuffing), plus John Prescott (a monstrous Northern fatso) and Robin Cook (with ginger facial whisps) both played by women (Rosie Strobel and Kaye Brown).

I especially enjoyed Gary Trainor’s Gordon Brown. He scowls with every gloomy Scottish utterance – a man you’d never confuse with a ray of sunshine.

With music and lyrics by Steve Brown and direction by Peter Rowe, this pocket musical has echoes of Hamilton, Les Mis and Sweeney Todd, and comes with generic choreography and tonsil-exposure, apeing West End overkill.

Blair probably won’t turn up. He apparently doesn’t find himself funny. But we do, in this cheap and cheerful alternative to the farce currently running in Westminster.

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular