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Party Political: Rory Bremner - Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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The Man For All Voices - Plus A Couple Of Surprise Guests
The man described as Britain's best-known satirical impressionist brings an incredible number of well-known 'names' to the stage during the course of his new live show. But alongside the voices of such well-known public figures, from former South African leader Nelson Mandela to cricketing legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott, come a couple of unexpected surprises in the real-life appearances of comedian Fred MacAulay and fellow impressionist Jan Ravens.

Not surprisingly Rory Bremner has embarked on a new tour, which is called 'Party Political', on the back of Donald Trump getting into the White House, the UK's Brexit vote to leave the European Union, and - dependant on the timing - the calling of a British General Election to be held on June 8. Surely manna from heaven for a political impressionist. Rory immediately launches into his excellent imitation of President Trump, and comes back to the larger than life character on a regular basis such as when discussing the threat from North Korea.

Rory Bremner
Top impressionist Rory Bremner

The back-to-back BAFTA Award winner, who is best known for the political satire show Bremner, Bird and Fortune which ran for nearly 20 years on Channel Four, clearly devotes a lot of his show to last year's Brexit vote and the recent calling of a General Election. He does a superb impression of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who, like Trump, comes up on a number of occasions including giving his reason for the timing of the election. And there are a seemingly endless array of political 'voices' also getting in on the act, from former Prime Minister David Cameron and Michael Gove, who Rory describes as having the "most annoying voice in politics", to Nigel Farage and an occasional Jeremy Corbyn.

But there are clearly many impressions that Mr Bremner is loathe to give up - and why not if you have perfected them - so up pop the likes of former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, UK political veterans such as Gordon Brown, John Major, William Hague, Tony Benn, and Michael Howard, and the aforementioned Nelson Mandela. He rarely strays from the political field but he did also bring Alan Titchmarsh, Billy Connolly, Andy Murray and what sounded very much like former rugby union star Gavin Hastings to the table.

Rory Bremner
Rory Bremner as seen in 2007. By Arisian17 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Rory is the first to admit that he doesn't do women in his act, so up popped his surprise guest Jan Ravens from BBC TV series Dead Ringers in the second half. What followed was a sort of impressions masterclass from Jan and Rory with Ms Ravens delivering a splendid take on Prime Minister Theresa May. But, happily, she wasn't allowed to stop there as she also gave the sold out audience a flavour of her range of voices from round the world sailor Ellen MacArthur, Nicola Sturgeon and Joanna Lumley to television newsreaders Fiona Bruce and Kirsty Wark. Earlier, Scottish comedian Fred MacAulay had been introduced towards the end of the first half to give a brief but excellent slice of his stand-up show featuring references to getting home late and dealing with an airport bookings desk. All in all, a great night of comedy.

Fred MacAulay
Comedian Fred MacAulay. By Ian Sloan - Contact us/Photo submission, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Rating: 5 out of 5

Rory Bremner future tour dates

June 7 Wakefield Theatre Royal
June 8 Huddersfield Lawrence Batley Theatre
June 9 Oxford Playhouse Theatre

July 5 Berwick-upon-Tweed The Malting Theatre
July 12 Durham Gala Theatre and Cinema
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When: 24 May to 12 July
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR
Cost: Lichfield tickets 20 adults 18 students
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