Kieran Hodgson wrote and stars in Prince Andrew: The Musical (Picture: Channel 4)
For all the seriousness of the allegations surrounding Prince Andrew – and let’s actually be serious for a moment, this is a man who was on our front page earlier this year after striking a deal with the woman accusing him of sexual assault – there was always something hilarious about his very public moment of hubris.
The lack of sweat, the visits to Pizza Express, the ‘straightforward shooting weekend’ – his infamous interview with Emily Maitlis was so bad it was good.
Good enough to be the starting point for a satirical musical? Well, writer and lead Kieran Hodgson certainly thinks so, and Prince Andrew The Musical’s opening showtune I Nailed It – a brilliantly funny duet with Maitlis (Emma Sidi) – hits all the comedy straps immediately.
From there, we witness a pantomime of Prince Andrew’s life until that fateful interview. Interspersed with archive footage, the narrative goes back to Andrew’s time as a self-styled action hero in the Falklands War.
‘Without my chopper and my joystick we’d have faced defeat’ Hodgson sings, with a knowing wink so huge he may well have pulled a muscle in his face.
The songs and choreography in these sections are good enough, but the whole enterprise begins to feel like a good five-minute sketch stretched to breaking point.
Once you’ve got the joke, Prince Andrew The Musical becomes tiresome – more of a pastiche of musicals than of the former Duke of York himself.
In the end, of course, it’s impossible not to return to Epstein.
Munya Chawawa has a lot of fun as King Charles in Prince Andrew: The Musical (Picture: Channel 4)
Wisely, it’s approached by dealing with the royal family fallout, and Munya Chawawa has great fun as a quietly furious Prince Charles.
Andrew has a moment of remorse… and is then straight into a rousing finale in fully unapologetic majorette mode.
‘You subcontracted your disgrace to minor royals like me,’ he roars in Always Going To Need An Andrew.
It is the only point where any kind of thoughtful comment is tentatively approached; the rest of the time this is throwaway stuff purporting to be daring, but unable to fully commit to its indictment of privilege and consequence.
Prince Andrew: The Musical airs Thursday December 27 at 9pm on Channel 4.
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Just about, briefly.