March 16 -21
The Three Lions
As one of the characters says, I know nothing (or next to nothing) about politics and football… the 2018 World Cup bid was won by Russia, not
Qatar? Ah, that’s in 2022; good old Wikipedia. And that’s maybe the place to go for more about the play; devil of a job finding any details in the programme – though it does contain some heavenly and clever visual humour.
One thing is for sure: we wuz robbed; how could anyone resist the dream team of Beckham, Cameron and Prince William (in no particular order)? This witty play mischievously suggests some good reasons, with outstanding impersonations from Dugalnd Bruce-Lockhart, Séan Browne and Tom Davey respectively.
However, the one who runs away with the ball is their caretaker, Ravi Aujla, a most comical turn as good cop/bad cap, alias twins Ashok and Vikram. Lewis Collier (Lachlan) meanwhile seems a bit of a surprise last minute substitute, if intended as some form of deus ex machina though a neat turn as the man who ousts the PM from his bedroom, and outs assistant Penny in his bed, yet his role seems somewhat superfluous.
Yes, poor Penny (Antonia Kinlay) deserves some consolation after working her socks off and being constantly browbeaten by Cameron, the main thing, amongst many, admittedly, which makes him so unsympathetic, even if you cannot fault his drive – and the running joke about Nick Clegg (which says it all, really). One of the best features Boris Johnson if sadly not in person, or impersonation.
The setting itself, Cameron’s 70s styled hotel bedroom in Switzerland, looks to have been tango’ed; even here there are jokes: it is expanded by a whole couple of inches to change scene to Prince William’s suite.
The Greek chorus or unholy trinity keep us up to date with the state of play. Cameron pontificates, schemes and doesn’t half gesticulate, Prince William huffs and puffs and provides much of the elements of farce while Beckham is delightfully ditzy yet perhaps more realistic than the other two put together.
And with hindsight, it adds a whole new, intriguing dimension to these events of 2010. Even if you know nothing (or next to nothing) about politics and football, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. One thing we do learn is that there is a fine line between bribery and incentive, and to find out more, just beg, borrow or steal a ticket.