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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Musical marks Tony Blair legacy
The alternative Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
Writer James Lark said Blair's speech is poetical
Outgoing prime minister Tony Blair has been made the subject of a musical.

Rehearsals are under way for "Tony Blair - the Musical", by Cambridge writer James Lark, which is to be shown at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The musical, which has songs entitled "Oh what a lovely war on terrorism" and "Throwing in the Jowell", is told through Mr Blair's eyes.

Mr Lark told the BBC the former Labour leader made the perfect musical subject as "he speaks in song lyrics".

Prescott 'difficult'

Mr Lark said: "His whole rhetoric style is so poetical and kind of 'showbizzy' already, it was quite interesting when I was writing the songs for Tony Blair - I didn't have to change very much, just change the music to go with the words.

"Some characters in the story lend themselves to music better than others, for example I found it very difficult to find a musical style for John Prescott - he's got a few physical scenes."

One of the dangers of writing a topical piece for theatre like this is that it does have a limited shelf life
James Lark

Mr Lark, who has a starring role in the musical as Gordon Brown, said: "One of the things I wanted to do was redress the balance a bit - by seeing the whole story through his [Blair's] eyes rather than just kind of criticising him and 'bang, bang, bang, war in Iraq, bad man'.

"[I wanted to] try to explain his motivation behind that and maybe go a little bit deeper than other satirists have done."

The Cambridge graduate wrote the script and lyrics for the musical, which will be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

"We'd love to tour with it afterwards as well - we think it has probably got mileage", Mr Lark added.

"One of the dangers of writing a topical piece for theatre like this is that it does have a limited shelf life but I think Tony Blair's legacy is big enough that we can get a few years out of it yet."

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