US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Theresa May and the three Brexiteers – Boris Johnson, David Davies and Michael Gove – provided ample inspiration for the latest staging of the Treason Show.
Southern – rebranded as Bastard Rail – remains another favourite target of the long-running show which returns with a refreshed script at least once a month.
The four-strong cast opened with a song – Hashtag me too – to the tune of Mamma Mia by Abba, with “handsy” politicians in its sights.
A brief spoof Treason Show rehearsal played on the way the cast take well-known tunes and add new words, often with echoes of original lines and rhymes and sticking in the main with the scan.
The example used – a chorus containing just three words to the tune of a Specials single – demonstrated the technique perfectly: “Free-ee Robert Mugabe!”
While nations sometimes vote in grown up politicians, the Treason Show cast have no shortage of whacky world leaders to satirise and mock.
Trump – played by director Mark Brailsford complete with the world’s most derided hairdo – sang a duet with Kim Jong-un.
The chorus line to the tune of I Know Him So Well included variations such as “I’ll bomb him to hell”.
Trump also featured in sketches with the Worst Wing – rather than the West Wing – offering one format and a speech by the US leader ending (not for the first time): “God bless America – and may God help us all!”
In the Worst Wing the president shared the lessons of his recent trip to Asia, praising the Great Wall of China and crediting the wall with keeping out Mexicans.
And a sketch based on Robot Wars – Maybot Wars – had the PM repeating her claim, over and over, to be strong and stable in a way that demanded a reboot.
There was reference to “a Vince Cable working loose” followed by: “Some people think a Vince Cable is a vital component but it’s actually unnecessary and ineffectual”.
There’s a local flavour too – and the audience joined in as Brailsford sang the Smokey song Living Next Door to Alice with Crystal Palace as the butt of the joke.
He had a political discussion sketch about the updated Brighton Monopoly board. The Greens had all the best lines, wanting a cycle lane installed before players could pass Go but not wanting anyone sent straight to jail.
There was laughter when one cast member asked: “Why’s the station still on the board? That’s no use to anyone!”
It was topped by a gag about the board being out date: “Who would come to Brighton and expect to find free parking!”
An “appearance” by Michael Fallon was a hit, with the former Defence Secretary’s sex symbol status given hilarious short shrift.
And the homage to Eurotrash, the Treason Spielen Schau, remains a favourite with the audience.
The Paradise Papers cropped up twice – once on Fux News (news for the hard of thinking) and in a Jackanory sketch.
The Jackanory story – narrated by regular cast member Kerren Garner – described the mythical magic money tree.
In fact it can be found thriving in offshore havens like the Cayman Islands where the rich shake the tree while pretending to the poor that it doesn’t really exist. And the rich people lived happily ever after!
Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey were in the satirists’ sights – the former becoming the punchline to a song to the tune of Downtown.
And Nando’s featured as the pay-off line in a song to the tune of the Abba hit Fernando.
But one of the best songs of the evening helped set the mood early on as a robotic Theresa May – also played by Garner – sang the Pulp anthem Common People.
“I want to the leave the Common Market” was a tour de force.
And the medley at the end played well – a send up of Opera North which made generous use of dialect. The opening strains of Nessus Dorma were followed by the phrase “Flippin’ Nora!”
It was the third song of the night to earn prolonged applause or cheers part-way through.
The encore was in a manner of keeping with the finale – a rendition of Land of Hope and Glory but with the opening line amended to “Land of groping Tories”.
The crew will be at the Ropetackle in Shoreham on Thursday (23 November).
Then it’s the end of year special – That Was The Year That Was – returning to last night’s venue, The Walrus Underbelly (formerly the Smugglers) in Ship Street, Brighton, on Thursday 21, Friday 22 and Saturday 23 December.
After Christmas the show switches venue to the Old Ship Hotel, in King’s Road, Brighton, on Wednesday 27 to Saturday 30 December.
The final performance of the year will take place at the Ropetackle on New Year’s Eve.
For more information, visit http://www.treasonshow.co.uk.