Bath Chronicle 3 March 2011

You would think that a stage play based on a hugely popular television series would really need the original actors who millions of people around the world had grown to love. But actually, you don’t. Because what people really loved in Yes, Minister and then Yes, prime Minister were the characters themselves – and beautifully crafted characters can, of course, be played by anyone.

On TV were Derek Fowlds, Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington. Here we have Simon Williams, Chris Larkin and Richard McCabe, although in fact what we see are Sir Humphry, Bernard Woolley and Jim Hacker.

In those three, writers Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn have created three memorable characters who reveal what we dread but secretly cherish about the British political system.

For this anniversary show that comes straight from playing to packed houses in the West End – now you can hardly get a ticket in Bath for love nor money – the writers have brought the situation bang up to date with a hung parliament, Blackberrys, sexually charged political situations but still the old threat that something will have to be done to curtail the activities of the civil service machine.

The same, but at the same time wonderfully different.

 

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