Review: BREXIT ***



Pleasance Courtyard Venue 33 13.30

August 1st to 26th (not 13, 20)

*** Three stars

This topical show in a large venue is packing them in. Punters are keen to have insights into an issue that will affect them and their children. This show mainly shows them just how difficult progress of any sort is.

The show is written by Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky, and directed by Tom Salinsky, both of whom seem concerned not to give the audience any illusions about the Brexit process providing satisfaction for any section of the political spectrum. It is a political comedy of an traditional sort, not unlike well known television brands.

A new Prime Minister, Adam Masters ( Timothy Bentinck) has the job of bringing peace between the factions. He tries to persuade Paul Connell ( Mike McShane) to be his senior advisor. He refuses, not wanting to be just a fall-guy.

He appoints two senior party members to government posts who are on opposite sides, Simon Cavendish (Hal Cruttenden), who is fervently anti-European, and has “I vow to the my country” as his ringtone, and Diana Purdy ( Pippa Evans) who is an enthusiast for all things European. We see Masters moving back and forth across stage between these two, offering mirror images of the same arguments in order to get their support.

Masters finds his position becoming increasingly precarious as he fails to make progress. Can the process be stopped? he wonders. Increasing demands are made by the EU representative for this, culminating in Britain joining the Eurozone as price or re-entry. Masters is horrified and knows this is the death of his attempt to halt Brexit.

The are many laughs and moments when the audience feels that politics is surely a game for masochists, and maybe feels sympathy for those trying to knock heads together. However, this show largely presents to us a dilemma of which we are all too conscious and which the country is living through, but it does not present any new angles or insights, and the characters are two dimensional almost always. This is not sufficiently original or risk taking to generate any enthusiasm.

Tony Challis