Brexit the Musical

If you’re like me, you probably dreamed up this show over a year ago as you watched the biggest political farce play out, live on television. Brexit lawyer Chris Bryant had the same idea and the result, ‘Brexit the Musical’, does not let its predictability deter from the entertainment.

A talented cast take on Boris, May, Cameron, Corbyn and all the rest with accomplished impressions thrilling the audience. Boris, in particular, mastered his famous Eaton vocals and boyish posture and Cameron too was uncanny in his likeness. It must be said that May’s imitation was less convincing, probably stemming from the real May’s ambiguity compared to the caricatures that are the rest of the Tory party. A notable stroke of genius came from a tap dancing Andrea Leadsom mourning the ‘Cuntinenal’ who broke her heart.

The thin plot sees May seizing power while Gove and Boris set out on the hunt for Osborn’s missing plan to save the country. It is a ludicrous story and the show would have worked without it. Its absurdity does, however help enforce the stupidity of actual events. Bryant has previously called the UK’s decision to leave the EU ‘ridiculous.’ This is perhaps the main issue with the show as the real events of last year were far more farcical than any show. He could have scrapped his silly story and just played out reality. Nonetheless, moments such as the opening number celebrating democracy hone in on the audience’s seemingly unanimous belief that, indeed, voting leave was a ridiculous exploitation of democracy.

Tellingly, the show has already sold out most of its run and the ticket holders, it can be assumed, are mostly remain voters. In the queue I spoke to several people whose views aligned perfectly with my own, but what else would one expect at such an international festival? Thus the cast had an easy job, preaching to the converted with a musical satire saying exactly what everyone was there to hear. The Cameron’s were lampooned for their out of touch snootiness, Gove bemoaned his unpopularity and Corbyn sung a tragic lament for Glastonbury. At no point does the show attempt to reconcile the two sides of the debate, look into the future or hold those responsible to account, but ‘Brexit the Musical’ cannot be applauded for its subtlety.

Although the content was unoriginal, the quality spoke for itself. Furthermore during a festival where every opinion has its stage, what is wrong with entertaining the like-minded? Unchallenging in its satire, the audience was still roaring with laughter and though the plot may have been thin, the characters were golden.

I’m not sure what a leave voter would have thought, but if you’re looking for some cheap Brexit thrills, EU should not miss this!

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Jane Prinsley

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