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Corbyn the Musical: The Motorcycle Diaries review – ‘sharp satire’

Martin Neely in Corbyn the Musical: The Motorcycle Diaries. Photo: Rupert Myers Martin Neely in Corbyn the Musical: The Motorcycle Diaries. Photo: Rupert Myers
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In a Britain not too far in the political future, Vladmir Putin has decided to reignite a nuclear threat. As the nation turns to its leader for guidance, it seems that newly appointed premier Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to enter into negotiations. The reason is explained in this sharply scripted new musical by political pundits Bobby Friedman and Rupert Myers with original music by Jen Green.

A small ensemble is led by Martin Neely, who makes an arresting Corbyn, blessed with a bold, tenor belt and a killer sense of comic timing. He is supported by a versatile David Muscat, hilariously doubling as both Vladimir Putin and Boris Johnson and a wonderful Natasha Lewis, revealing hidden depths as sometime wild child Diane Abbott.

The cut and thrust of Friedman and Myers’ script is exceptional, lampooning familiar politicians such as Johnson, Tony Blair and Putin with unequivocal glee and wholly deserved irreverence. Green’s catchy score references everything from 70s funk to Broadway and the songs slip snugly into the narrative, adding texture to the piece.  Despite nailing both political and musical satire so perfectly, the show is sadly let down by a sudden and wholly unsatisfactory ending.

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Verdict
Tightly scripted musical satire blessed with a talented ensemble but let down by an injudicious finale
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