REVIEW_ TONY! (The Tony Blair Rock Opera), Theatre Royal Bathtub – ‘A present the place everyone shines’

Sing it loud, with scrumptious excessive kicks: “The entire large world is run by assholes, lunatics, psychopaths and creeps”.


Roll over, The Producers; a brand new musical satire’s on the town (however just for a couple of days, so hurry up!).

Think about you could possibly inform a historic story of hope, nice intention, and all-too-human failing. Think about you had the expertise to additionally let rip and take the piss with utter – offended – glee. Think about you actually nailed it, catching each slender element in order that teenagers (with solely people tales of this legend), go away the theatre, laughing, “that was unbelievable!”


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Harry Hill (who wrote the e-book – aka, the script for non-musicals-types) and Steve Brown (acerbically genius lyrics and music that’s spot-on) have pinned Tony Blair’s prime ministerial profession to the stage like a moth-collector’s specimen. They take us pacily from grinning delivery to deathbed confessional, sprinkling “oh, sure!es” alongside the way in which: Carol Caplin! That dance with Princess Di! Ugly Rumours! And naturally, don’t neglect lectern-based pointing, however with pointy fingers tucked below thumbs. You attempt it. See?

Peter Rowe’s path is flawless. Francesca Jaynes’s choreography, excellent. Hill’s script is quick and humorous. Be careful for the Cherie/Tony early days and the way she conjures up his future manifesto. Writers, that is the way you take care of exposition! (The reply is intercourse). When becoming a member of faculty band Ugly Rumours, the younger Blair muses, “I’m only a humble and modest man, you recognize… Jesus Christ”. And later – don’t fear, no spoilers (you don’t know the way this ends?!) – Blair says, “Thrice I requested you: would you like me? And thrice, you mentioned sure”. The biblical echoes – and implicit remark – are unmissable.

Brown’s music and lyrics make me wish to purchase the soundtrack: Saddam’s I by no means did something unsuitable, Gordon Brown’s Macroeconomics and Kinnock’s Properly Alright are just some I’d suggest. The band (Tara Litvack, Ben Uden and Harry Bent) keep politely within the background however actually pack a punch.

And final: this forged is wildly proficient and clearly having a ball. Particular mentions to Rosie Strobel (Prescott, a Gallagher and Bin Laden – a minimum of), Sally Chong (a Robin Cook dinner par excellence), Phil Sealey (oh – slowly gasp it – Gordon) and Tori Burgess for her cheeky Cherie. And Howard Samuels is a marvelously Mephistophelian Mandelson, in numerous guises, together with a kilted Alistair Campbell and gorgeously maniacal Dick Cheney.

However prime gold star should go to Jack Whittle for an impressive Tony Blair. What a cherry on the cake. With voice and mannerisms to die for, he’s a case research in how a superb performer goes nice when every little thing behind him – forged, path, tech, music and writing – is de facto at its finest.

This can be a present the place everyone shines. Nevertheless it’s additionally very unhappy. The tragedy, in fact, is just not about Blair, however the numerous misplaced and ruined lives from 9/11 and warfare in Iraq. Hats off to Hill and director Rowe for giving this house, and house with actual influence. And so, we find yourself again the place we began, at a deathbed confession and a spot of emotional horror, a political mirror held aloft by a grinning, high-kicking forged:

“The entire large world is run by assholes, lunatics, psychopaths and creeps.”

In case you haven’t labored it out but, I like to recommend you e-book as quick as you may.

TONY! (The Tony Blair Rock Opera) is at Theatre Royal Bathtub from July 3-8 at 7.30pm, with extra 2.30pm matinee exhibits on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets can be found at

All images: Mark Senior

Learn extra: Assessment: An Inspector Calls, Theatre Royal Bathtub – ‘A script that’s so intelligent, it’s timeless’

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