Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Hilarious lyrics set to familiar tunes as Scotland’s political parody specialists lampoon the lampoonable with just about everything and everyone in the political establishment in their sights.
By day, two ordinary people, one a journalist, the other a senior figure in Scotland’s voluntary sector. By night, two extraordinarily gifted entertainers.
Back for a third appearance at the Fringe, Vic Rodrick and Annie Gunner Logan delivered an uproarious evening of musical comedy at the Acoustic Music Centre down at St Bride’s Kirk, packed to the gargoyles with locals up for a night of sharp satire. And the Scots love of playing politics is matched by Playing Politics’ love of lampooning just about everyone and everything in this arena ripe for their clearly much loved cutting parody.
It’s all topical, up-to-the-minute stuff as the duo launch into a ditty about David Cameron returning early from his Tuscan vacation to deal with the English riots, as Gunner Logan termed them. This led adroitly into an ironic piece on Richmond’s jails in London being so full of looters at the moment that “real” criminals have had to be billeted in the local Premier Inn at the tax payer’s expense. More followed on phone hacking (what else), Andy Coulson, the demise of the News of the World and a brilliant parody on the Big Society, set to one of the better known tunes from that 1930’s epic, High Society.
They found plenty of material to attack closer to home as well. Naturally, the Edinburgh Trams (or lack of them) got it in the neck as did Alec Salmond’s ability to make his manifesto promises disappear – but then he is an illusionist as well as being a man so pleased with himself that he drinks his own bath water.
The secret of Playing Politics’ success is that they’ve an encyclopedic knowledge of tunes that might be susceptible to adaptation for parodying purposes. And they’ve an acute sense of the couplet will raise a smile, and that which will provoke a cry of laughter and spontaneous applause from the audience. Most of their numbers contained a mixture of both with the result that, by the end of the set, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It really was hilarious stuff, the audience rapt in their attention, the performers peerless in their comic timing and execution of the punch-lines in every number.
Nothing and no-one escapes their acerbic, cleverly crafted lyrics. It’s like HIGNFY set to music, except that much of their output would probably be deemed totally off limits for broadcasting by dear old conservative Aunty Beeb. Best to catch Playing Politics live then. They’re only doing two shows at the Fringe, but you can and should seek out these peerless lampooners on their travels around Scotland.