Brighton Fringe Review – The Dying Days of Blair

24 May

blair

Hove Town Hall: Thursday, May 9 2013.

Six years to the day that Tony Blair announced he was standing down, Brighton-based writer Chris Henry’s one man show was given its first outing.

Set in the office of newspaper editor Andrew Harding (played by Matt Cotton) it followed the hack’s increasingly desperate and comical attempts to stand up his story that Blair was set to resign – after it had gone to press.

While this show might have its roots in reality, much of what followed was far fetched.

Cotton played the part with gusto, but the role of a panic-stricken editor, lacking any semblance of self-control or conviction, just didn’t ring true.

That said, it was the absence of credibility – such as Harding not being able to pull a front page five minutes after the presses started rolling – that laid the play’s comic platform.

Henry was then merciless with his withering treatment of Harding and the likes of Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Cherie Booth – with the hilariously crafted text messages and emails that pinged between them flashing up on a big screen as the ‘will he, won’t he go’ plot unfolded.

As a concept and a feat of presentation, this was an undoubted success – albeit one tempered by a less than believable central character. Not too dissimilar to New Labour then.

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