Berlusconi – An Evaluation of the New Musical Spectacular


Berlusconi: A New Musical is a maximalist kitsch cabaret that tells the story of Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Written by Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan, the show follows Berlusconi as a succession of women reproach him in song for his sexual and financial wrongdoings. Featuring a talented cast led by Sebastien Torkia as the title character, “Berlusconi: A New Musical” is an indictment of power and hubris that merges Broadway-style melodies and choreography with serious reflection on the vacuous cynicism of political demagogy.

Southwark Playhouse in London is hosting this clever and polemical show until April 29. Director James Grieve and choreographer Rebecca Howell have crafted a production that is equal parts comedy, drama and reflection. Set design by Lucy Osborne sets the stage with a steep staircase that allows the performers to caper on multiple levels. In the main role, Torkia offers a campy yet accurate portrayal of the renowned media mogul and womanizer. The musical repertoire consists of a combination of finger-clicking-ditties and power ballads, with an emphasis on the latter for the segments dealing with sexual exploitation.

Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan are to be credited for their smart satire of a powerful and questionably moral man. Of course, there are many other politicians whose characters are ripe for derision and the show speaks directly to that. The show makers make sure to draw parallels between Berlusconi’s actions and those of today’s political leaders, like Donald Trump or Boris Johnson. Thus, this story of Italy’s Prime Minister not only holds on its own but also provides lessons relevant to today’s world.

The company mentioned in this article is Southwark Playhouse, a multi-award-winning independent theatre located in London. They have been nominated three times for the Olivier Award, which is the U.K.’s most prestigious accolade for theatre performances. This year they have been nominated three times for their production of “Berlusconi: A New Musical”.

The person mentioned in this article is Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s former Prime Minister and media mogul. Berlusconi was an incredibly influential man, having held the office for four terms and been the leader of three of the country’s major political parties. He has had a colorful lifestyle, often making tabloid headlines for his alleged sexual misbehavior and legal troubles. However, his political actions have left a permanent mark on modern Italian history, which is why Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan wanted to do a musical about him in the first place.