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Harry Hill and Steve Brown's TONY [THE TONY BLAIR ROCK OPERA] World Premiere Announced

The story of how one man went from peace-loving, long-haired hippy and would-be pop star to warmongering multimillionaire in just a couple of decades. 

Harry Hill and Steve Brown's TONY [THE TONY BLAIR ROCK OPERA] World Premiere Announced

From stand-up comedian and TV legend Harry Hill and his long-time collaborator Steve Brown comes the premiere of the rock opera the world has been crying out for: a reckless reappraisal of the life of former Ugly Rumours front man and Britain's first pop Prime Minister Tony Blair. The story of how one man went from peace-loving, long-haired hippy and would-be pop star to warmongering multimillionaire in just a couple of decades. It's Yes, Minister meets The Rocky Horror Show!, a hilarious tragedy of political intrigue, religion, power, and romance that plays fast and loose with the facts, complete with songs such as 'Macro Economics' and and the haunting ballad 'I Never Did Anything Wrong'. Peter Rowe directs, and the full cast is to be announced.

Charting Tony's meteoric rise to his stark shift in public opinion, the show is laden with larger-than-life characters such as Princess Diana, John Prescott, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Osama Bin Laden, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein and Gordon Brown. It's one hell of a weapon of mass distraction!

Harry Hill said, "Ask yourself this - if you bumped into Tony Blair in the street would you ask for a selfie? Gordon maybe - but Tony... Don't think so! Think of the insta-hate! Yet 25 years ago there he was - the master of all he surveyed surfing his britpop wave with Cherie at his side. Ah, Remember Britpop? The future all looked so rosy back then didn't it? It's struck me for a while that Tony Blair's life is epic - operatic even, in its story arc.I know it doesn't sound like obvious material for a comedy musical but we're not laughing at Tony so much as laughing at the choices WE made back in the 90's and early 2000's."

Steve Brown added, "Memories of the first Pop Prime Minister; the one who rode the wave of Cool Britannia; Noel Gallagher necking champagne at Downing Street; it was like the 60s again. Optimism and groovy gear. Er, and a few wars. We could only convey this story in the most overblown of all possible theatrical forms: The Rock Opera... or Poperetta if you will. Fun, catchy but ultimately, a tragedy in the making."

Multiple award-winning comedian, presenter and author Harry Hill has been one of the UK's most respected and inventive entertainers for nearly thirty years. Starting with his own ingenious comedy series on BBC2 and Channel 4, he went on to create the hit, multi-award winning ITV series Harry Hill's TV Burp which ran for ten years. More recently he has created and starred in three series of ITV's Harry Hill's Alien Fun Capsule, and BBC2's Harry Hill's World of TV. He is the longstanding voice of ITV's You've Been Framed, and is the presenter of Channel 4's Junior Bake Off. As an author he has written several best-selling joke books, and amongst others, the popular children's series Matt Millz. He is also an artist and has shown his work at the Royal Academy. Later this year he will embark on a brand new live tour, Pedigree Fun. He has won the Perrier Best Newcomer Award, eight British Comedy Awards, three BAFTAs, and a Level 4 BAGA Gymnastics Award (forward roll, cartwheel, crab and roundoff).

Steve Brown is a composer, lyricist, arranger and record producer who's written extensively for TV, including all the music arrangements for Harry Hill's radio, TV and film work since 1997. He's worked with some of the biggest names in British TV, radio, theatre, comedy and music including: Steve Coogan, Lenny Henry, Spitting Image, Grayson Perry, Lee Mack, The Goes Wrong Show and Ant & Dec, for whom he wrote the immortal Wonky Donkey theme. Theatre includes music/lyrics for the musicals Spend Spend Spend (Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Award for Best New Musical), the X Factor musical I Can't Sing! London Palladium), It's a Wonderful Life with Francis Matthews (New Wolsey, Ipswich) and Magic Goes Wrong (Vaudeville). He produced triple platinum album Seasons of My Soul by Rumer (Atlantic records), followed by acclaimed MOBO winning artist Laura Mvula debut Sing to the Moon for RCA, having discovered both artistes, and Little Black Book by Sarah Walk (One Little Indian).

Peter Rowe is a director and writer, with a particular interest in music theatre, often working with an ensemble of actor-musicians. He was Artistic Director of the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich between 2000 and 2022. He has directed Boyband and Return to the Forbidden Planet in the West End and on national tours, together with his own musical, Leader of the Pack. Peter's work as a writer includes nine record-breaking 'rock n roll pantomimes' which are currently being produced annually at the New Wolsey Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, and Leeds City Varieties. He has also written the books for Songs From a Hotel Bedroom, a setting of Kurt Weill songs produced at Watford Palace Theatre and the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House, and 20th Century Boy, a musical inspired by the life of Marc Bolan and incorporating the songs of T.Rex, which has played a major national tour.

Park Theatre presents exceptional theatre in the heart of Finsbury Park, boasting two world-class performance spaces: Park200 for predominantly larger scale productions by established talent, and Park90, a flexible studio space, for emerging artists. In nine years, it has enjoyed eight West End transfers (including Daytona starring Maureen Lipman, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss, Pressure starring David Haig and The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp), two National Theatre transfers, twenty-five national tours, five Olivier Award nominations, has won Offie Awards for Best New Play and Best Foodie Experience and won a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage. Park Theatre are grateful to all those who have donated to the Park Life fund, supporting the venue through the pandemic.

Running Time: 2hrs 10 mins (including interval) | Suitable for ages 14+

Company information

Book by Harry Hill Music and lyrics by Steve Brown Directed by Peter Rowe

Choreography by Francesca Jaynes Set and costume design by Libby Watson

Sound design by Andre T

Cast

TBC

Performance details:

Park200, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP

1 June - 9 July

Previews: 1 & 2 June £18.50

Mon - Sat evening 7.30pm, Thurs and Sat matinees 3pm

Audio described Sat 25 June 3pm, captioned Sat 3 July 3pm

£32.50 - £18.50, concessions £18.50 - 16.50, Park Up 1 - 7 June £10

www.parktheatre.co.uk | 020 7870 6876*

* Telephone booking fee: 10% capped at £2.50 per ticket



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