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Happily, the original writers (Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn) have kept much of the classic comedy that makes the TV show so watchable. And the actors taking over from Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne, the excellent comic David Haig and the ever-brilliant Henry Goodman (read our interview with the latter here) are just as skilled as those they replace.
The script is updated, with references to BlackBerrys, the coalition, and the financial crisis, and packs in many laughs about politics, political relationships, foreign policy, and the BBC.
We asked a few audience members what they thought of the show:
Jonny, 25, Tunbridge Wells
Yes, Prime Minister was an enjoyable night out. Henry Goodman and David Haig combined impeccably, and although not hilarious, it was witty and entertaining. It also made sense for me, despite having seen very little of the original series. Worth going for Sir Humphrey Appleby’s (Henry Goodman) over-educated hyperbolic piffle alone!
Jo, 27, Battersea
Henry Goodman was as brilliant as ever – a complete chameleon actor who does justice to every role he plays, and his Sir Humphrey is no different. An hour and a half is possibly too long for the plot line (which flips between witty satire and pure farce), but this is not just a re-hash of the old Yes, Prime minister series, as the writers have adeptly updated the issues and context whilst retaining the style of the TV show.
Madelene, 37, London
The new version of Yes, Prime Minister is not a far distance away from the original television version, sharp wit and killer lines, as well as a comical view of who may actually guide our political decisions.
Jane, 30, London
Yes, Prime Minister was pleasing and nostalgic, although the update feels a bit old fashioned in comparison to shows like The Thick Of It. The supporting cast were excellent, especially Jonathan Slinger as Bernard.
Jenny, 27, Essex
I’m not really familiar with the TV show but I enjoyed the stage version of Yes, Prime Minister. Although the plot was pretty thin, the play was full of jokes and kept me amused all the way through. David Haig was great as the Prime Minister and it’s always a treat to see Henry Goodman on stage. This was the first comic role I’d seen him play. I’d say he’s more suited to a dramatic role than comedy, but he did make a very smooth Sir Humphrey!
Stephen, 37, Oxford
Good fun. Longer and more extreme than the TV series, the writers seem to have become more bitter and cynical over the years, but hasn’t everyone? Glad to see that Sir Humphrey is still a Balliol man.