Wednesday 12 July 2017

Brexodus! - Review

The Other Palace, London


Composed by Frederick Appleby and Russell Sarre
Libretto by David Shirreff
Directed by Lucy Appleby

Airlie Scott as Theresa May

The performances in Brexodus! are, for the most part, top notch – it’s only a shame that the written material doesn’t quite match up to the acting talent on stage. Over a lengthy two hours the talented cast of 5 offer up a whirlwind tour of the political issues that have gripped the nation since early last year.

The show’s lampooning takes no prisoners, placing all our current political figures squarely in its sights. However, whilst Brexodus! takes aim at politicos of all sides, David Shirreff’s sentiments are resolutely Remain. By all means mock political life (and heaven knows post June 8th, it merits mockery even further) but when the balance tips towards bias, the evening ultimately evolves into little more than an immaculate and polished professional performance of a schoolboy script.

The performances are memorable. Paul Croft turns in an excellent Nigel Farage, Recip Erdogan and Lord Heseltine (amongst many others) with their identifiable traits honed to perfection. Croft’s rock-star/communist interpretation of Jeremy Corbyn is cutely chuckle worthy – but the text’s lack of reference to Corbyn’s long avowed contempt for the EU was perhaps an overly convenient omission by Shirreff?

Airlie Scott as the only woman on stage offers up a wonderful Theresa May, as well as a strikingly believable Sarah Vine (aka Mrs Michael Gove). James Sanderson’s blustering take on a buffoon-like Boris is instantly recognisable – but by the second act the novelty of his cycle helmeted garb has worn off. Also Sanderson’s take on Trump needs to shake off its orange-faced clumsiness.

Technically Frederick Appleby’s piano work is crisp and the cast have clearly been rehearsed into a polished performance of pinpoint timing – brava Lucy Appleby.

The words may be as clich├ęd as the caricatures are good, but while you’re unlikely to cry with laughter, there’s much in the show to chuckle at.

Paul Croft as Jeremy Corbyn

Runs until 15th July

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