Adam Kay: The Remains of Tom Lehrer, Ambassadors Theatre ★★★★


Reviewed for The Reviews Hub:

Rather than treating Lehrer’s works as fossils to be unearthed and revered, Kay has rather bravely attempted to update some, removing or tweaking references that had greater satirical relevance in 1950s America than in 2010s Britain – a process he compares to restoring a stately monument rather than “when they remade Alfie with Jude Law”.

And for the most part, he is successful. Both Pollution, which he adorns with extra verses about infectious diseases, and National Brotherhood Week, an anti-racism song which receives a root and branch update to befit a world where the news is dominated by Brexit, immigration and UKIP, illustrate how well Kay’s own comedy temperament suits Lehrer’s works.

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