This production, at the Warehouse Theatre in Croydon bills itself as a bit like Yes Minister or the Now Show. Not as funny, or political, the Joy of Politics is like a kind of younger, unsophisticated immature brother to these two shows.
Andrew Jones and Ciaran Murtagh present their double act of picking apart the government, political parties, general attitudes and stereotypes. But nothing new is put forward here and after five minutes the gags seem to not even relate to politics. Split into bite-sized sketches the duo take it in turns to wear silly costumes and run around in a kind of tag team relay which gets tiresome and the jokes sadly don’t make up for this.
Moments are vaguely commendable, a hilarious impersonation of Nick Griffin specifically reigns here. A well prepared costume made from newspaper also looks great, but what this actually has to do with politics, or anything really, apart from making interesting things from newspapers really wasn’t clear to me.
At points each of the actors slow the pace slightly and tell a story of their childhood (because political persuasion is formed during childhood), and this is where we hear about Ciaran Murtagh’s Christmas day where his father invited a tramp in for the day to highlight how lucky his kids were to receive presents. An interesting premise, if it weren’t for the stereotypical tramp behaviour, of drinking everything dry, being sick, stinking and generally being a disgusting tramp. The family learn nothing, neither does Ciaran… And neither do we. Perhaps it was a jab at a liberal father, trying to teach his kids the truth of our society, but to be honest it just felt as though all tramps were disgusting and there was supposed to be something funny about people being tramps in the first place.
That said, both actors are fairly charming, and manage to maintain the audience’s attention well. I needed more than the sweets handed round at the beginning to make me believe in this production, however and I just don’t think these guys are the ones to pull it off.
The Joy of Politics is showing at the Warehouse theatre, Croydon until the 22nd of November. Tickets are avaliable from www.warehousetheatre.co.uk