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Yes, Prime Minister

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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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.

Venues, Dates and Ticketing Information

Comedy Theatre
Saturday 21 January to Sunday 26 February 2012
Tickets through Ticketmaster here or phone 136 100

Canberra Theatre
Wednesday 21 March to Saturday 24 March 2012
Tickets through Ticketek here or phone 132 849

The Sydney Theatre
Wednesday 4 April to Sunday 29 April 2012
Tickets through Ticketek here or phone 132 849

Gold Coast
Arts Centre Gold Coast
Wednesday 16 May to Saturday 19 May 2012
Tickets through the Arts Centre here or phone (07) 5588 4000

Wednesday 23 May to Sunday 27 May 2012
Her Majesty's Theatre
Tickets through Bass here or phone 131 246

His Majesty's Theatre
Thursday 31 May to Wednesday 6 June 2012
Tickets through BOCS Ticketing here or phone (08) 9484 1133

The Playhouse, QPAC
From Wednesday 4 July
Tickets available from 30 January through qtix here or phone 136 246

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?

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Why? Because if we didn't laugh at politics we'd cry.
When: From 21 January 2012 to 6 June 2012
Where: Major cities around Australia
Cost: Varies. See ticketing information above.
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