Tony! The Blair Musical
Not unblairable by any means
This article is from 2007.
So much has been said about the former Prime Minister’s ‘legacy’ that it will come as no surprise to find that Chris Bush’s musical version adds little to a personality one occasionally wishes were more enigmatic. For all that though, there’s a zesty, youthful kind of vigour to this curio that bumps along through his ten years in office with humour and charm.
The piece revolves around a succession of departures from the slippery old so and so’s inner circle, from Elle Cox’s alienated Cherie, through Jethro Compton’s creepy Mandelson and on to Ed Duncan Smith’s arrogant Alistair Campbell. Finally, we’re left with Tony (James Duckworth) alone with his delusions, less an unsympathetic man than an empty vessel. If occasionally the youthfulness of the ensemble shows, and if Duncan Smith might have followed the precedent of his dad in being a bit quieter in song, there’s still some rattling good music to carry the piece. Duckworth is strong as Blair, though final honours should go to Cox, whose strength of both voice and movement in her doubling of Lady Di and Cherie might betoken a big future.
C Chambers St, 0845 260 1234, until 27 Aug (not 13), 6.20pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£9.50).