Last night the Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House played host to opening night of Yes, Prime Minister.
A near capacity audience watched a very talented cast in this very British comedy.
Prime Minister Jim Hacker (Mark Owen-Taylor) is facing a crisis. The whole of Europe is in debt, and his only way out is a slightly suspect loan from Kumranistan, whose foreign minister will only sign the deal if provided with an equal opportunity Eurojob. See the play to understand the reference. It's hilarious, believe me.
Joining Mark onstage is the mildly dubious permanent secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby (Robert Grubb), seemingly the only person in politics with a conscience, principal private secretary Bernard Wooley (Russell Fletcher), political advisor Claire Sutton (Caroline Craig), the Kumranistan ambassador (David Ashton), BBC reporter Simone Chester (Laura Maitland, who also understudies for Claire) and the Cameraman (Ezra Bix, who also understudies for Bernard, the ambassador and Simon Chester)
The play is full of British and European jokes about the French, the Belgians and the Americans. Although only on stage briefly, David Ashton stands out in his wonderful embroidered robes. Robert Grubb has many long winded speeches full of impossible terms that receive applause from the audience, and rightly so.
This is a highly comedic piece, with each character fighting for the next laugh. A testament to both the writing and Carolines skill as an actor is her flirty phone call to the CIA, a highlight of the piece.
Yes, Prime Minister plays at the Opera House until March 2, before a brief, one week engagement at the Playhouse in Melbournes Art Theatre from March 6.