Review - Yes, Prime Minister - Theatre Royal Glasgow

The original writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn have revitalised and given new life to this classic TV series in the hilarious Chichester Festival Theatre Production that opened at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow last night. Currently touring the UK ahead of a 10 week residency at the Apollo Theatre in London, this play is a delightful treat from start to finish.

Brought into the present day, the play is set over the course of an evening in the Prime Minister's study at Chequers tackling familiar topical issues in the context of a Prime Minister having an extremely bad day that is spiralling out of control. I won't reveal the plot but it is slightly controversial in places with an older couple in the audience leaving after the use of the word "f******". It was the only use of the swear word, and used to great comedic effect, but aspects of the plot line will undoubtedly be a little too controversial for some, regardless of the hysterical consequences for the poor protagonists.

Simon Williams captures the essence of Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby masterfully, delivering lengthy complex jargon littered speeches with ease leaving the audience, and Richard McCabe's Prime Minister, baffled in his wake. Sir Humphrey fits every stereotype of the old boys’ club approach to Government and Williams takes the character in his stride making it easy to visualise him roaming the halls of Downing St and lunching with the city.

In contrast, Prime Minister Jim Hacker embodies everything that the average voter worries about in elected officials. Indecisive, hesitant and seemingly unaware to the strings being pulled around him initially, Richard McCabe produces a stellar performance as the beleaguered Prime Minister. The audience can only sympathise with his confusion when staring down another of Sir Humphrey's bamboozling monologues. McCabe is a joy to watch bringing energy and exquisite comic timing to the role. Chris Larkin, Bernard the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary, is scene-stealing in his role as the uncomfortable, downtrodden lackey as is Kevork Malikyan as the Kumranistan Ambassador.

This wonderful ensemble piece led by McCabe and Williams is laugh out loud funny and definitely worth a visit. If you miss this production I promise you, you will regret it.

Tue 21 – Sat 25 June
Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm
Thurs & Sat mats 2.30pm
Box Office 08448 717 648 (Bkg fee) (bkg fee)
Tickets bought in person at the theatre box office do not carry a booking fee.

From 6 July
Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm
Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm