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May 7, 2015 / basabbott

Comedy & Realpolitik


Feed the Beast

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

On election night we were still unsure if we would be Cameroned, Millibanded, Clegged, Faraged or looking Green.

So it was appropriate that we should see Steve Thompson’s play from Birmingham Rep. This told the story of a new Prime Minister, with a bit of Tony and a bit of Ed in him.

Maybe we were expecting another Yes, Prime Minister; and there are laughs in it. But Tories make better rascals. This leader has soon to learn the seriousness of dealing with the press.

The media is an implacable, brooding, powerful, offstage presence, a nemesis for anyone not playing its game.

Even when it intrudes on-stage, with a lithe lady journalist (Amy Marston), there is a sense of the PM dealing in a devil’s bargain.

Gerald Kyd charts the Premier’s incumbency from jocular winner to a man driven to batter an expensive looking desk with a laptop.

Although sometimes an uneasy mix of comedy and realpolitik, the play says much about press power. Peter Rowe’s production runs until 16 May.

Basil Abbott

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