Updated stage version of TV political comedy

Back, from left, Guy Steddon, Julian Batstone, Sarah Frost and Tony Brownings, with, front, Dave Peaty and Annabelle Heath
Back, from left, Guy Steddon, Julian Batstone, Sarah Frost and Tony Brownings, with, front, Dave Peaty and Annabelle Heath

A POPULAR political comedy is coming to the stage in Southwick, two months ahead of the General Election.

Yes, Prime Minister, the popular 1980s TV series, has been updated by writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn to bring a new satirical take on Whitehall.

The play won the Best New Comedy award in 2011 and had three sell-out West End seasons, with rave reviews.

Wick Theatre Company will present Yes, Prime Minister at the Barn Theatre from Wednesday, March 11, to Saturday, March 14.

Rosemary Bouchy, from the company’s publicity team, said: “This hilarious new adventure, set in modern times, should be great fun with a General Election just two months away. Director John Garland has assembled a terrific cast.”

Prime Minister Jim Hacker and his cabinet secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, are in deep trouble due to the collapsing euro and unpopular austerity measures.

Sir Humphrey has a plan to get the Government back in favour, by securing oil supplies to the UK and solve the financial crisis in one fell swoop.

Unfortunately, he has not been entirely honest about the implications and, to make matters worse, the Foreign Minister of Kumranistan makes some unusual demands to ensure his co-operation.

The study at Chequers is the setting for an eventful evening.

Trying to sort out a number of tricky situations puts Jim, Sir Humphrey and Bernard, principal private secretary, into an ever-increasing spin.

Jim’s new ally, special policy adviser Claire Sutton, and the Ambassador to Kumranistan are both called in to help.

The BBC is planning a programme likely to show the Prime Minister in an unfavourable light, so the director general is summoned as well. Finally, Jim is grilled by BBC presenter Simone Chester in a live broadcast, but can he come up with the last word?

Dave Peaty, fresh from his success as Uncle Harvey in Season’s Greetings, will play Jim, while Guy Steddon, with two best actor and one best supporting actor awards to his credit, is Sir Humphrey.

Julian Batstone, an actor new to Wick, is Bernard and the highly-experienced Tony Brownings is Ambassador to Kumranistan.

Peter Joyce makes a welcome return to the Barn stage to play the director general of the BBC.

There are two females in the cast – Sarah Frost, who made memorable appearances in The Cherry Orchard and Season’s Greetings, plays Claire Sutton and experienced actress Annabelle Heath, in her first role with the company, is Simone Chester.

Performances start at 7.45pm. Tickets £11 from the box office on 01273 597094, or online at www.wicktheatre.co.uk