IN HIS SIGHTS: Matt Forde presented his take on Brexit to a large crowd at The Witham
IN HIS SIGHTS: Matt Forde presented his take on Brexit to a large crowd at The Witham

Review

Matt Forde – Brexit through the Gift Shop

The Witham

WITH 650 jokers in London seemingly unable to sort out Brexit, a good sized Barney crowd turned to comedian Matt Forde for his take on the predicament the nation currently finds itself in.

The political satirist and impersonator arrived in town the same day three Tory MPs had jumped ship to join their ex-Labour opponents as Independents – or Tiggers as they've become known – and this was nicely weaved into the opening minutes of an extremely well put together show.

Given how Brexit develops on an almost daily basis, I suspect the current version differs somewhat to the show which premiered at Edinburgh last August.

During part one, he took aim at the likes of Boris, Farage, David Davis, Theresa May, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and a host of other characters, some more well known than others, and hit his target every time.

Highlights included the unlikely image of Jacob Rees Mogg buying wine at “three for a tenner” and – my particular favourite – how a general strike in 2019 might differ from the General Strike of 1926.

As everyone headed for the bar at half time, it seemed as if Jeremy Corbyn was off the hook.

Blenkiron

No such chance. Dubbed “the David Brent of politics”, the Labour leader was given a good roasting when the show resumed.

The theme also widened during the second part to take in a wry look at Scottish independence, the situation in Northern Ireland and a marvellous riff on Russia under Vladimir Putin which featured, of all people, newsreader Huw Edwards and Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy.

The finale was an extended section featuring Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un... and more Farage.

Matt Forde's impressions of all his subjects were spot on and as well as delivering the laughs, there was also much food for thought.

He was pretty spot on when describing how people were now more likely to be identified on the basis of how they voted in Brexit (Leaver or Remainer) than with their political persuasion (Labour, Tory, Liberal etc).

The only thing I felt was missing from a show which held the audience's full attention for an hour-and-a-half was the lack of any Euro players in the Brexit saga.

There was no mention of Merkel, Macron, Barnier, Juncker et al throughout. A missed opportunity, perhaps.

This notwithstanding, it was an excellent show by a sharp performer at the top of his game.

Stuart Laundy