A round-up of reviews of Yes, Prime Minister at the Apollo Theatre starring Richard McCabe and Simon Williams.
The successful Chichester production of Yes, Prime Minister returns to the West End this summer until 17 September 2011.
Based on the hit 1980′s BBC sitcom by Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay, the writers have adapted their comedy for the stage featuring the political manoeuvrings of the PM and his wily Cabinet Secretary, covering issues from global warming and prostitution to the financial meltdown.
Yes, Prime Minister stars Richard McCabe as Prime Minister Jim Hacker and Simon Williams as Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby.
See a round-up of reviews for Yes, Prime Minister, below.
Book tickets to Yes, Prime Minister at the Apollo Theatre
"Although it's heartening to find a political comedy in the West End, I still feel the omission of any reference to the news headlines is a Wapping mistake."
"The superb and undervalued actor Richard McCabe, who shone in so many productions with the RSC, has replaced David Haig as the PM and proves his equal when it comes to sweaty terror. His glassy eyes and rigid grin as the situation slips out of his control are a joy to behold, and there is a hilarious sequence when he crawls under his desk like a terrified dog as disaster stares him in the face."
"If the introduction of harder-edged humour and a present-day setting is understandable, not enough has been done to update this script since it was written. Its preoccupations - a BBC in crisis, an internally unpopular PM - feel very 2009; it would probably have worked better as either an '80s period piece or with some topical updates."
1 thought on “Yes, Prime Minister at the Apollo Theatre – Round-up of Reviews”
Disappointing on so many levels.
1. It’s only when you see different people in the roles that you realise how much of the original comedy was specific to the actors themselves.
2. Simon Williams is grossly miscast. He’d make an excellent Jim Hacker, he’s an anonymous Sir Humphrey.
3. It’s all streched way too thin. As Wallace and Grommit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbbit demonstrated, just extending a 25 minute concept to 1¾ hours, just makes it very thin, not four times as good.
4. The main plot premise – soliciting an under-age girl for sex with a foreign (inevitably Arab, see below) is thoroughly unpleasant.
5. But the main problem – Yes (Prime) Minister was always completely apolitical. It was about the machinations of the civil service and how they got in the way of the politicians. But Anthony Jay has let cheap political jibes infect the stage production. The silver-haired Mail and Telegraph reading audience seemed to enjoy the cheap jibes at the euro, EU, global warming, wind farms, take your pick of all of the usual stuff; but it’s completely wrong for the heritage of the show.
So all in all, a disappointing watch and a let-down compared to everything wonderful that we remembered about the TV series.