Playing politics

Graham Seed and Michael Simkins in Yes, Prime Minister at Buxton Opera House until Saturday, March 17.
Graham Seed and Michael Simkins in Yes, Prime Minister at Buxton Opera House until Saturday, March 17.
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PAUL Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne left big boots for other actors to fill in any context, none more so than their masterly double act in the classic TV sitcom Yes, Prime Minister. Fortunately Graham Seed and Michael Simkins are experienced players, and well up to the challenge.

An entertaining up-to-date stage version of the comedy is at Buxton Opera House this week, complete with all the barbed political jokes and topical background you’d expect. Financial meltdown in Europe, fiddling diddling MPs and phone hacking all get a mention. There’s even an illegal immigrant working at Chequers.

Principle versus practicality is, as ever, the cornerstone of the storyline as Jim Hacker (Seed) and Sir Humphrey (Simkins) cross swords, Hacker finds himself in a deepening hole and Sir Humphrey eventually digs him out of it.

Clive Hayward takes on the role of Bernard the hapless PPS, and Polly Maberly is Jim’s special advisor, with an ambassador, a TV interviewer and the director-general of the BBC bringing up the rear.

It runs until Saturday.