Went to see Yes, Prime Minister
yesterday, with the lovely-but-sadly-non-singing Philip Quast
as Sir Humphrey. Granted, I've never seen the TV show, but I figured a cult British comedy would at least spawn an entertaining stage production featuring all the elements that demonstrated its original appeal. It was dismal. I can only gather that someone badly missed the mark - whether it was the adaptation, the original show, or my own sense of humour is debateable, but I did spend a lot of time waiting for it to be over. I mean, get this:
"[About a climate control plan] It should appeal to Germany. They have a large Green movement."
"Euww, sounds rather like dysentery."
Uproarious laughter from people who were not me. Tremendous political humour there - what next, fart jokes? Neither did I find amusing the running gag where the PM continues to refer to other European countrymen as Dagos, Wops, Polacks, etc. in the face of warnings from his private secretary. I mean, never mind whether or not this is 'politically correct'; I understand humour often bends the rules on this, and I've seen much worse. It's just not actually funny
. Maybe it was, oh, THIRTY YEARS AGO. Oh, how about that incredibly side-splitting plotline where, where, okay get this. See, the British government needs this treaty signed in order to receive a cash infusion of millions of Euros. The diplomat responsible (from the country of 'Kumranistan', another invention from the cutting edge of wit) demands sex with an underage girl or he will not sign on the morrow. This subplot literally takes up MOST OF THE PLAY and leads to tedious, distasteful and borderline-if-not-outrig
ht xenophobic discussion about relative cultural moralities, ages of consent, illegal immigration, and the like. Like, it'd be fine to get a child from another country to service the diplomat, but god forbid it should be a BRITISH child. Hey, how about the underage daughter of the illegal immigrant cook? I spoke to her and she's totally up for it - she's not even a virgin! And we can deport her afterwards if necessary! I'm not making this up; this is ACTUAL PLOT. I mean, are you even listening to yourselves, people
? Even setting aside the dubious nature of the subplot, which is a big ask in itself - this is something that could be solved in about two seconds with a legal prostitute who looks much younger than her age. You're in politics - do you not understand the concept of lying
? Done. Two. Seconds. Now, could we move onto a part that is actually funny? I'd take anything at this point. Maybe a cream pie in the face? Pratfalls? GAH.
PQ looked lovely in a suit; his eyes are still a compelling blue. He blazed his way through two massively circumlocutious speeches, which was amusing the first time around and just tedious the second, although he got a round of enthusiastic applause for both. And he was very slightly amusing tucking in his pocket handkerchief to demonstrate Sir Humphrey's idea of 'casual dress'. Yes. That was literally the funniest part of the show, I'm afraid. Although not so much the second
time, because, you know, if a joke's even mildly amusing it's worth repeating so that it becomes less so. The actors were fine; I'm not sure if there's anything they could have done to improve the play. And the crowd feedback seemed to be overwhelmingly positive, so I'm clearly in the wrong demographic or something. I was kind of wishing someone would just come onto the stage with a script for Cabin Pressure
and they could just sit around in chairs and cold-read it. It would have been far funnier.
But speaking of Cabin Pressure
, the day was a success for I took my lemon picture
! Sydney is jaded enough that no-one batted an eyelid at the crazy person photographing the lemon. I was more worried someone would spontaneously decide to grab and run off with it, just for kicks. LOL.