Prime target

Simon Williams as Sir Humphrey Appleby and Richard McCabe as Jim Hacker in Yes Prime Minister
Simon Williams as Sir Humphrey Appleby and Richard McCabe as Jim Hacker in Yes Prime Minister
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BUDGET deficits, cuts to public services, and a referendum on the way we vote in elections... politics has rarely been so prominent in the minds of the people.

So thank Lords for the revival of a show that pulls few punches when it comes to mocking those fidgeting in the seat of power.

Hit BBC series Yes, Prime Minister has been revived for the stage, and Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey Appleby have been armed with a new script bristling with topical subject matter.

Classic British actor Simon Williams has been cast as the conniving Cabinet Secretary while Richard McCabe, whose TV roles have included Wallander and Spooks, stars as the PM on a tour that takes them to Sheffield’s Lyceum in May in a new show centred on a manic weekend at Chequers.

“It’s always fun to watch manipulation happening on stage,” says Simon, arguably best known for playing James Bellamy in period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. “In this case we each think we’re manipulating rather successfully the other.

“There’s something about politicians which is very fertile ground because they’re so overblown with hypocrisy and double speak.

“They’re just a ghastly bunch of rascals. You listen to Newsnight or Question Time and the sharp people are never the politicians. The politicians are the ones who are dodging the question and towing the party line.”