Friday, 3 August 2007

Our socialist agenda

Our previews were also reviewed by Morning Star, a socialist newspaper. It is a very nice review overall, describing the show as "witty satire set to mostly tuneful songs" ("mostly"??!) and saying that "Nathan Kiley is electrifying as Blair and Rosanne Priest as Jowell and Anton Tweedale as Blunkett and Bush are outstanding performers in a strong cast."

The full review is below, if you're curious to learn more about the show's cleverly hidden and hitherto unnoticed socialist agenda...

Blair the Musical by James Lark

Morning Star, 2 August 2007

It had to come. We've had ten years in Downing Street of Blair the pantomime culminating in Blair the Tragedy. Now it's Blair the musical. James Lark scrunches the Tony era into an hour and a half of zesty, witty satire set to mostly tuneful songs. The tone is set at the start when a huddled mass of depressed Old Labour die-hards suddenly shed their rags and miraculously emerge as besuited New Labour butterflies. Things can only get better and a triumphant Tone doles out red ties to his cronies, sorry cabinet, thereby creating New Labour at a stroke. This style makeover is resisted by Clare Short who is deeply into twee Laura Ashley scarves and (horrors!) socialist principles. I think Tone would like to throttle her with them. The new cabinet enter carrying placards bearing their names, which is just as well, as John Prescott is played by a tall, thin, lanky redhead. At the outset Blair and Brown seem joined at the hip (or any other part of the anatomy you care to imagine) as they waltz around the office like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers cooing to each other "Your policies come straight from the heart". You know this love affair will never last.

However, the best musical number is a 'yee-ha' hoedown- come line-dance in which cowboy George Bush yells "A war's what we need; we'll fuck Iraq like a whore and make her bleed". The funniest performance comes from blind fascist sage David Blunkett. His guide dog is an evil looking glove puppet that is forever on the verge of savaging anyone who disagrees with Dave. A sort of politically correct version of Rod Hull's emu. Come to think of it, so is Dave. Caught between the devil (Blunkett) and the deep blue sea of his own policies Blair has only god to turn to. As the voice of god Alastair Campbell fits the bill and by now Tony is turning into a tragic figure; a Joan of Arc de nos jours. His Heavenly voices mislead him and he perishes as Julius Caesar instead with Gordon as his Brutus. This scene is more a night of the pen-knives due to budget restraints. Tony dead? Never. Like Doctor Who's Time Lord he reincarnates as…Dave Cameron.

Nathan Kiley is electrifying as Blair and Rosanne Priest as Jowell and Anton Tweedale as Blunkett and Bush are outstanding performers in a strong cast.

James Lark has said that Blair's speeches come over as song lyrics so if you are interested in politics why not listen to the CD of the show as well as viewing it?

Michael Stewart

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