When Blair had Bush and Bunga (Pleasance Courtyard, Saturday 8th August) ***

This show is funny in parts with some ouch moments. It seemed relevant to go to a show about Bush and Blair on a day I had seen two other show based on political figures as diverse as Boris Johnson and Tony Benn.

The audience is welcomed into the theatre by Heartbeat (Nicola Blackman) and Bijoux (Linda John-Pierre). Their banter put the audience into a good mood. The lights went up and revealed Christopher Staines on stage. He looked so much like Tony Blair that the audience is already laughing and engaged.

This is the story of Tony and Cherie Blair’s holiday on Sir Cliff Richard’s island. Silvio Berlusconi and George Bush turn up. Among the guests are Alastair Campbell and Carole Caplin. Anyway, that mix is the crux of the narrative.

Basically, this is a slapstick comedy, rather than serious political satire. We have confusion and mis-identification, people being hit over the head, and women walking around in their bikinis. Some of it I found amusing, but most of it I felt was a little dated.

The audience clearly enjoyed the production on the evening I went, but I wanted a little bit more nuance and depth.

One bonus was that it was brilliant to see Linda John-Pierre again on stage. I had really enjoyed her performances in the RSC’s A Mad World My Masters.

Further Information

https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/when-blair-had-bush-and-bunga#overview

http://whenblairhadbushandbunga.com/

My verdict: ***

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