In 1980 the first episode of Yes, Minister was broadcast and went on to become television’s most successful political comedy ever. It and the equally successful sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, captured a niche in the political consciousness of the nation.
The original writers of these classic series reunited for this anniversary production and now the Prime Minister Jim Hacker, his Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby and his Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley are all back, in a brand new play.
The world, of course, has turned meanwhile. Spin has become an art form and the BlackBerry is the must-have accessory. Dossiers have been ‘sexed up’, the ‘special relationship’ put to the test and countless MPs have stood down to ’spend more time with their families’.
But great institutions have a way of riding punches and bouncing back unscathed for the next round.
Will it prove so for Jim Hacker and his coterie of close advisors? Especially with the country on the brink of financial meltdown and the Government’s only apparent salvation coming from an unlikely quarter – a morally dubious deal with the Foreign Minister of Kumranistan.
Henry Goodman (Duet for One, Fiddler on the Roof, Feelgood, Chicago, Art, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, Taking Woodstock and The Damned United) played Sir Humphrey Appleby.
David Haig (Donkey’s Years, Mary Poppins, Hitchcock Blonde, Art, Dead Funny, The Thick of It and Four Weddings and a Funeral) played Jim Hacker.