Tony Blair’s life to be staged as a rock opera written by Harry Hill

Characters include John Prescott, Princess Diana and Osama bin Laden

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 15 December 2020 08:47 GMT
Protester shouts at Tony Blair

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Louise Thomas

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The life of controversial former prime minister Tony Blair is being adapted into a rock opera by comedian Harry Hill.

Tony! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera) will be staged at London’s Turbine theatre, located in Battersea power station, next February. 

Taking an only loosely factual approach to Blair’s life, the production will see a number of public figures from Blair’s time as PM feature as characters. This includes Blair himself, 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden and Princess Diana.

Prominent political figures are also depicted as part of the show’s ensemble, including Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, US president George W Bush, director of communications Alastair Campbell, and deputy leader John Prescott.

Blair is remembered as a contentious figure by many for his invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

Blair pictured in November 2020
Blair pictured in November 2020 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Tony! isn’t Hill’s first work of musical writing to be staged, having created the short-lived X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! in 2014.

Paul Taylor-Mills, the Turbine’s artistic director, said: “It’s impossible to ignore the challenges and sheer nerve required to make any kind of announcement during these times.

“With all that in mind, I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with the Turbine theatre and everything that it stands for, particularly with regard to investing in and generating new work. It’s fair to say that MTFestUK 2021 is going to be our most diverse to date and I’m thrilled to be presenting musicals from first-time writers, alongside Tony and Olivier award-winning artists.”

The opera will be performed from 4 to 6 February.

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