REVIEW: ‘Berlusconi A New Musical’ at Southwark Playhouse ★★

The former prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi and his tax evasion scandal is a very niche idea to write a musical about. But the Producers of Fleabag and Baby Reindeer (who describe this show as ‘Evita on acid’) make me wonder if they were tripping on acid themselves when they came up with the concept for this show.

Cruise ship crooner turned multi billionaire and Prime Minister, Silvio tries to enshrine his legacy by writing the opera of his life in a modern-day cautionary tale, telling outlandish, almost true story of one of the world’s most charismatic, charming and morally bankrupt political leaders.

Jenny Fitzpatrick, Emma Hatton and Natalie Kassanga all do a great job with the material they have to work with as the three ex wives Fama, Veronica and Bella who take Berlusconi for every penny they can. The always wonderful Sally Ann Triplett gives her all to the character of Ilda. Our protagonist, Sebastien Torkia who plays the main man himself gives a fun performance but is vocally weaker than the rest. For a show that is trying to be a rock opera, the band were anything but loud, muffled backstage which was a shame.

The new ‘Elephant’ venue of Southwark Playhouse is lovely, split out on two levels with bars in each. There is much more room than at the ‘Borough’ venue and I highly recommend going to check it out.

Berlusconi A New Musical is lyrically as cringeworthy as Diana the Musical and about as interesting as Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent court case. I enjoyed it for the most part and the tunes were musically catchy but I couldn’t help but wonder why someone had thought this would make for an interesting story to tell on stage.

Reviewed by West End Wilma