REVIEW: Yes, Prime Minister

FANS of the popular 1980s sitcom are in for a real treat. Following a successful run at the Chichester Festival, Yes, Prime Minister brings everybody's favourite civil servant to the Lond

YES, PRIME MINISTER, Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1

FANS of the popular 1980s sitcom are in for a real treat. Following a successful run at the Chichester Festival, Yes, Prime Minister brings everybody's favourite civil servant to the London stage for the first time.

Penned by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, the writers of all five series of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, this new production casts its satirical eye over modern political quandaries such as global warming and the financial crisis.

Henry Goodman shines as the deliciously opaque Sir Humphrey Appleby, cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Jim Hacker, whose foibles and frustrations are brought to life by David Haig.


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Bernard Woolley, his put upon private secretary, is witheringly portrayed by Jonathan Slinger while a Paxman-esque BBC presenter and a special adviser add a modern touch to the line-up.

The plot centres around a $10trillion oil deal with a central Asian economy to prop up Europe's flailing economy. Problems mount when that country's foreign minister insists on the services of a teenage call-girl. Farce ensues and it seems that Hacker's minority Government is doomed.

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Although the stage play lacks some of the subtleties of the television series and the plot wears thin in places, this will hardly matter to anyone with fond memories of the original programme. The characters and the dialogue are a sure-fire vote winner. - DAVID LADDS

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