Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn bring their award-winning stage adaptation of Yes, Prime Minister to the Kings, which has seen the classic series updated and set in the present day. Directed by Lynn, the play follows the Prime Minister and his advisors as an unexpected request threatens to disrupt an important financial deal.
Taking place over 24 hectic hours at Number 10, Jim Hacker’s (Richard McCabe) office at Chequers, the plot takes a sudden turn when a visiting and very important foreign dignitary (who Hacker is depending on for a deal to save the UK from financial ruin) makes an unusual and immoral request.
With the clock ticking, Hacker, Sir Humphrey Appleby (Simon Williams) and Claire Sutton (Charlotte Lucas) must devise a plan to save the deal while the press sniff around, anxious for a story. Jay and Lynn’s Yes, Prime Minister, grew from their earlier series, Yes, Minister, and while it’s been seen for some time as a British comedy classic (Margaret Thatcher was such a big fan that she even had a cameo in one episode), it is, unsurprisingly, a comedy for grownups.
This isn’t to say that it’s rude, it’s just that a comedy about life in Parliament is something that only adults, and only a proportion of adults can enjoy, compared to children. While Yes, Prime Minister, and Thatcher’s acting skills may have been lost in memory to some people, Jay and Lynn’s decision to resurrect their series and adapt it for the stage couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks to a number of factors, such as the expenses scandal and the proposed cuts, 2011 has made Yes, Prime Minister relevant to a broader public.
Set in 2011, this play takes a look at 24 exceptional hours at Chequers, and how Hacker and his secretarys deal with an impending scandal, all the while trying to fool the ever-suspicious media. Amidst a sea of spin doctors, press offices, advisors and bumbling secretaries, the real message of Yes, Prime Minister, is that Hacker himself is very rarely in charge of the country. Those around him regularly take charge when certain issues arise, which begs the question, just who is running the country? Funny, witty, entertaining and thought-provoking, this regeneration of the classic comedy is a theatrical delight which proves political comedy is as good as it has ever been.