The Big Society is a musical being show at the city Varieties in Leeds, it is Britain’s longest-running music hall, built in 1865. It got a £9.2m refurbishment a few of months ago. The show is also set at the Varieties just 100 years ago, though it often breaks the periods with mention to the present. The show stars Phill Jupitus, from Never Mind The Buzzcocks. The show follows the going on at a variety show, showing both the backstage and the show itself. Like the variety show 100 years ago, there was number of acts, a magician called Barry, an escapology, lots of songs and dance, a ventriloquist and the headline act a invisible monkey called Marcel.
The show is being produce by the old anarchist band Chumbawamba, who also provide the music to the show.
It was a jaunty affair, with big musical tunes, modern political parallels and very very funny. The parallels to politics nowadays while obvious are not to in your face. The ventriloquist Dave with his dummy little Nick was the only clever political joke in the whole play. There is not much of a story to the whole show, with a little story about romance and a little story a newspaper journalist going to shut the company down. But these story’s are quickly dealt with, and the show goes back into another musical number. Phill Jupitus is excellent in it and surprisingly good voice. You can forgive the lack of a story because of how funny and enjoyable the show is. If you viewed the show as piece on modern politics then it probaly falls flat on its face, but as a entertainment it is successes the songs are catchy, and it very funny.
4 out 5 stars
Big Society is on until the 4th of February at Leeds City Varieties (buy tickets at www.cityvarieties.co.uk/)