I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
What do Play School, the Global Financial Crisis, Underbelly and British politics have in common? Many of you might say that recent European political and financial events show some signs of both corruption and child's play, and while you'd probably be right it's not the connection I'm looking for. Give up? The answer can be found in the return of Yes, Prime Minister. After a sell-out season in London's West End and a smash-hit tour of Britain, Yes, Prime Minister is coming to Australia.
Image from Yes, Prime Minister Australia Facebook page
The political adventures of British Prime Minister Jim Hacker, Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby and Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley were television comedy stalwarts of the 1980's. From secret arms sales and the European Union to the Church of England and British hospitals, nothing escaped the notice or the satirical pens of creators Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay. Their witty wordsmithery struck a chord with audiences everywhere, especially if like me you were ever a public servant. Fast forward twenty-five years and the current European political environment has given Jay and Lynn comic possibilities that are just too good to pass up.
For the Australian tour the obfuscating, pompous Sir Humphrey Appleby, will be played by Philip Quast - a former Play School presenter and star of productions such as Les Miserables and Mary Poppins. The shallow, self-serving, media-tart, the Right Honourable Jim Hacker, will be brought to life by Mark Owen-Taylor, a veteran of A Country Practice, All Saints and, you guessed it, Play School. The cast is rounded out with John Lloyd Fillingham (Bernard Woolley), Tony Llewellyn-Jones (Director-General of the BBC) and Caroline Craig, the narrator of the Underbelly mini-series, as a special advisor to the PM. Now you should be able to see the connection.
Ticket Prices vary between venues and seating arrangements but range from $35 for some previews to $99 for Premium seating and $129 for packages including drinks and programs. Check the ticketing websites mentioned above for full pricing information.
Philip Quast as Humphrey Appleby and Mark Owen-Taylor as Jim Hacker in Yes, Prime Minister
Yes Prime Minister, along with its predecessor Yes Minister was named at Number 9 on the British Film Institute's list of the 100_Greatest_British_Television_Programmes (in case you're wondering Fawlty Towers came in at Number 1). While this production can no longer include the priceless work of the late Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington, it still boasts the satirical talents of the series creators, who've sharpened their pens to bring you a hilarious and incisive look at politics in the 21st century. But remember the more things change the more they stay the same. As Sir Humphrey himself once said in an episode from 1982 "Politics, as defined by Roget's Thesaurus: Manipulation, Intrigue, Wire-pulling, Evasion, Rabble-rousing, Graft." Sound familiar?