In Competition No. 3012 you were invited to change a letter in the title of a well-known play and submit a programme note for the new production.
Thanks to Steven Joseph, who suggested this excellent competition topic. David Silverman’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Deaf started well but ran out of steam halfway through. Other promising titles that didn’t quite deliver included The Cheery Orchard, A Waste of Honey and The Wind in the Pillows. And no one, regrettably, did justice to The Bugger’s Opera.
I admired A.H. Harker’s Cook Back in Anger — ‘an intense investigation of the stresses that competitors in Bake Off and Masterchef bring to their home lives…As they return unsuccessfully from their respective heats to the intimacy of their own kitchen the social gulf between Jimmy and Alison is accentuated by his attempts to perfect lardy-cake while she sees how high she can pile spiralised cucumber’ — and John O’Byrne’s Absurd Parson Singular. But they were outflanked by the winners printed below, who are rewarded with £25 each. Frank Osen pockets the bonus fiver.
The Book of Moron, which began life as a musical adaptation of The Art of the Deal, has been updated and re-envisioned, thanks to an extremely generous investment by GRU Kompromat Capital Partners. The action now opens in the protagonist’s gold-plated apartment, with his upbeat ‘Tweet Inspiration’. Standout numbers range from ‘Getting to Know You’, sung by Vlad (an over-the-top Daniel Craig), and Donald’s wistful ‘Some Enchanted Email’, to the show-stopping ‘Don’t Cry for Me, I’m Subpoenaed’. The impressive sets transport us from a Moscow Penthouse (the steamy ‘Rain o’er Me’) to the White House, where endless revolving doors enliven ‘The Parade of the Press Secretaries’. Comic highlights include the ensemble of Anonymous Staffers performing ‘Dancin’ Leak to Leak’ and several malaprop exchanges among an increasingly frustrated Trump, and Sergei Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak —the latter two played by meerkats.