Rocking Your Vote!: an abysmal political musical

Christian Butler

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It’s difficult to review Rocking Your Vote!, because the English language cannot do justice to how unspeakably bad it is. To sum it up, it’s an unfunny musical comedy, featuring terrible songs, about Tory politician Will Goodhand’s botched campaign to be the MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland at last year’s General Election. Its songs are composed by Olly Nelken, and its libretto by Goodhand himself.

The show also stars fellow failed politician Lembit Opik, who unconvincingly plays himself. Actually, scratch that. Opik is no star, as his notorious 2010 Fringe stand-up debut proved. What’s more, he only appears here in pre-recorded segments. As if that wasn’t hellish enough, these segments are dream sequences. In one of them, Opik presents our hero Goodhand with a suitcase full of shit, and then eats some of it.

The show is, if you hadn’t guessed already, outrageously amateurish. Every character is a caricature of a caricature of a caricature. The plot makes no sense. The actors wear obviously fake wigs and speak in obviously fake accents. They sing to ghastly synthesised pre-recorded arrangements. One lyric tries to rhyme ‘principals’ with ‘disciples’. It’s not even enjoyably abysmal.

I wasn’t alone in my disapproval. The show was so bad the audience actually gave up applauding the songs midway through. The idea that the warped mind behind Rocking Your Vote! was once deemed fit to run for MP is deeply, deeply disturbing.

★☆☆☆☆

Christian Butler is a writer based in London.

Rocking Your Vote! is at Greenside @ Nicolson Square until 28 August.

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