By Matthew Barrett
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Last week I went to see the West End production of Sir Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn's classic series "Yes, Prime Minister", which has been re-launched and updated for the 21st century. It was very enjoyable, with an excellent perfomance from Robert Daws as Jim Hacker and great timing from Michael Simkins as Sir Humphrey. The update was very well done: the Brown and Cameron eras were merged, resulting in references to the Coalition Agreement in one scene and a "Twitter tsar" the next, civil service reform, cuts to the BBC, the crumbling European empire, the collapse of the banking system, and so on.
I also noted an interesting amount of time spent on usually verboten topics. For example, one long dialogue saw Sir Humphrey dismiss global warming science out of hand – he said that the computers used to predict climate change are essentially as reliable as those used to predict the behaviour of sub-prime mortgages and the health of the banking system (I see Sir Anthony Jay gave a glowing review to Lord Lawson's 2009 book "An Appeal to Reason", which seeks to present "a cool look at global warming"). In another section, Jim Hacker and his team debate the moral equivalence between the treatment of women in Muslim countries (in particular, the invented central Asian country of Kumranistan) and in Britain.
There is a great special offer for ConservativeHome readers: tickets for Monday – Friday performances and Saturday matinees will be available at £29.50 until 31st August. Readers wishing to take up the offer should use the promo code YESPM if booking online, or quote "Online £29.50" if booking by telephone (the number to call is 0844 871 7632).