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The Independent Culture
Cap'n Bob's back] Maxwell The Musical tells the life story of Robert Maxwell in the form of a musical revue, a prospect barely less grotesque than the man himself. Starring John Savident, the production is being indirectly financed by Maxwell's own money. Producer Evan Steadman sold his business to Maxwell five years ago for many spondulicks (he took it in cash). Steadman later became chairman of Maxwell Business Communications Group and is now trading on his personal experiences of 'The Bouncing Czech'. In a fitting act of larceny, Arthur Sullivan's music will be used with updated lyrics.

The opening night boasts a party at which Harry Ramsden's fish and chips will be served in copies of the Daily Mirror and stand-up comedians will perform anti-Bob jokes. There will be a special politicians' night out on 19 February. More importantly, on 11 February, anyone named Maxwell will be able to get two tickets for the price of one, presumably to compensate for the embarrassment the connection must cause.

We've come a long way since Mirror employees wept and called Maxwell 'the man who saved the Mirror'. No doubt about it, Robert Maxwell is not to be confused with Mother Theresa. But the press release announcing 'Maxwell: The Musical Review' is more astounding than the fact of the musical itself. 'He's dead and gone and thank God' it screams, showing a hatred unparalleled since the death of Hitler. Yes, he was a liar and a con man and he stole from the poor - a terrible man. But there are plenty of those still around. I want to know who's going to be next.

Emma Forrest

'Maxwell the Musical' at the Criterion theatre (071-839 4488), Piccadilly Circus from 11 Feb

(Photograph omitted)