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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Monday, April 24, 2023

Tony! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] @ Leicester Square Theatre "very witty, very silly and very funny show. It walks that delicate line between 'laugh-at' / 'laugh-with' brilliantly" @lsqtheatre @HarryHill @composersbrown Full review->

Yesterday afternoon Andy, Kevin, Stuart and I went to see Harry Hill & Steve Brown’s Tony! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] at the Leicester Square Theatre in London's glitzy West End.
Akin to the equally fabulous Margaret Thatcher : Queen of Soho, it was a very witty, very silly and very funny show. By the end our faces were aching from laughter.
A spoof of musicals as much as a satire of politicians, political life and popularism, packed with joyfully withering mirth, Harry Hill's manic humour sweeps you along. It's a sort of Spitting Image but funnier.
The show is ostensibly a reckless reappraisal of the life of former Ugly Rumours front man and Britain’s first pop Prime Minister Tony Blair. The story of how one man went from peace-loving, long-haired hippy and would-be pop star to warmongering multimillionaire in just a couple of decades.
A hilarious tragedy of political intrigue, religion, power, and romance that plays fast and loose with the facts, owing as much to Citizen Kane as it does to The Marx Brothers - Karl and Groucho that is!
Throw in a stellar cast of larger-than-life characters - Jack Whittle is brilliant as Tony Blair, Howard Samuels a riot as Peter Mandelson, Tori Burgess great as Cherie Blair, Phil Sealey hilarious as Gordon Brown, Martin Johnston spot-on as Neil Kinnock, Rosie Strobel fabulous as John Prescott, Sally Cheng brilliant  as Robin Cook, Emma Jay Thomas great as Princess Diana and William Hazell keeping it all together as on-stage cover. Throw in Alastair Campbell, Osama bin Laden, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein and you’ve got one hell of a weapon of mass distraction! It’s Yes, Minister meets The Rocky Horror Show! and a musical like no other.
It walks that delicate line between 'laugh-at' / 'laugh-with' brilliantly.
Fans of Tony Blair will perhaps love him slightly less.
Foes of Tony Blair will perhaps loathe him even more.
Cynics will just laugh their socks off.
The conclusions of the show?
True Blair started four wars, bombed a country to bits on a false narrative but his lasting - and some might argue equally damaging legacy - was to start the recent run of popularist politicians the have gone on to wreak political and societal havoc around the world. Blair was just the first of many terrible, terrible leaders. You get the politicians you deserve, and the world is run by arseholes.
It was the finale that made this rather depressing conclusion sound.... very, very funny.
Go see.


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