Musicals tend to be based on a central theme; betrayal or jealousy, lies and deception, you know the kind of thing. Brexit has them all (apart from a love story, and let’s be grateful for that), because if we didn’t all know it was based in fact, we wouldn’t believe a word of it! So, the subject matter was ripe for EU lawyer, Chris Bryant, to turn into a musical comedy – Brexit The Musical.
Brexit The Musical begins as the polls close on the 23rd June Referendum, Boris is convinced he can’t win, but it’ll not be a spoiler for anyone to find out that, much to his dismay, he does. The rest of the sorry debacle is played out to a rousing score while Johnson and Gove, like a pair of pantomime villains, hunt down the elusive ‘plan’ for what Brexit actually means.
It’s not the most cutting-edge piece of writing, but it is a lot of fun and the material found plenty of laughs. The score is, however, very well written, there are some real top end show tunes in there that you’ll still be humming on the way home. A couple of the songs even go some way to humanising the politicians, not to the point where they actually become likeable of course, but enough that you don’t want to burst in to tears whenever they start rolling out the soundbites.
You can tell immediately who they are supposed to be, David Cameron (Paul Rich) and Boris Johnson (James Witt) particularly so. But these are not just parlour impersonations, some of the vocal performances were actually pretty impressive, Virge Gilchrist as Theresa May the best of the bunch.
It does feel like this year’s Edinburgh Fringe is awash with shows about Brexit, or Trump, or whatever current event we’re supposed to be following. The actual story may not be much more than characterised satire but, the talented cast and catchy tunes make Brexit The Musical a strong and stable production that is sure to do well.