UPTON VILLAGE THEATRE GROUP
YES, PRIME MINISTER
New Theatre, Oxford Thursday 8 March 2012
Many of us remember fondly the original “Yes, Minister” on the television in the seventies and we were not to be disappointed by the new “Yes, Prime Minister”. The play is bang up to date as we are immersed in the governing world of financial crisis, the global warming debate, the baffling European Union, the politics of oil and the instability of countries whose names end in “-stan”. The blackberry has replaced the telephone; the civil service messenger is the prime means of communication and the fear of the “Daily Mail” is greater than the fear of the Parliamentary Opposition.
The same magic exists as we laugh at the behaviour of individuals, are dazzled by the language in the soliloquies of Humphrey, and to cap it all there lurks an ever present sense of the absurd. At one point I had tears of laughter running down my cheeks.
Jim Hacker (Prime Minister) was ably portrayed by Graham Seed (Nigel Pargetter of The Archers fame). A Prime Minister may to the public appear supremely powerful but he does not always feel that way. He does not have many troops supporting him against Sir Humphrey’s mighty legions in Whitehall. On the surface he is blundering, vain, self- serving and self- publicising, but he is not always a fool, being crafty and a worthy opponent of Sir Humphrey. Above all he is touchingly human.
If you enjoyed the television series then there is no doubt that you will enjoy this production. A thoroughly entertaining evening.
Ann and Nick Parham