Jonny & The Baptists: Eat The Poor

There is going to be a lot of trouble for everyone when the Swan Liberation Army finally achieve emancipation and turn the United Kingdom into an totalitarian Swan state.

The duo call on an obliging audience to join in with songs that teeter between musical satire and straightforward protest chants

Jonny Donahoe and Paddy Gervers, as Jonny and the, inexplicably plural, Baptists, take two guitars and explore this idea, along with many others in a couple of hours of random, riotous republicanism. It's an awful lot of fun.

The show does take a while to warm up. They start off with some fairly standard jokes on the state of the nation whilst trying to sniff out any Tories, before throwing in a few delightfully daft songs about Libraries, the Queen killing Trump and, of course, the Swans. Their theme is inequality, with a focus on homelessness. Blending sincerity with vitriol and song with stand up, the outcome is not unlike a hybridisation of Mark Thomas and Bill Bailey. It's full of witty one liners and hilariously astute lyrics. The word play in a song on Brexit is delightful and their dissection of a letter to the Telegraph is achingly funny. The duo call on an obliging audience to join in with songs that teeter between musical satire and straightforward protest chants.

The second half changes tactics somewhat and develops into a play, imagining a future where Jonny has made it to the top of society, leaving Paddy living on the street. It includes a disturbing amount of Andrew Lloyd Webber and manages to be both sobering and entertaining. This is really where the show hits its stride and the narrative coalesces around the framework set up in the first half, before ending rather abruptly, back with the Swans.

Every few years someone claims we need satire 'now, more than ever'. In reality, we need satire all the time to hold ourselves, as well as our government, to account and it has been presented here in its most delicious format; intelligently nonsensical and set to some well written songs to drum your feet to. 

Reviews by Julia French

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The Blurb

Three-quarters of MPs are millionaires. A third of the country lives below the poverty line. Whatever your politics, Jonny & the Baptists think it's worth talking about. A riotously funny modern epic about inequality, revolution and betrayal from acclaimed musical comedians Jonny & the Baptists – stars of Radio 4’s 'The Now Show' and BBC 'Live at Television Centre'. **** "Wickedly amusing" (The Times), **** "Broad, daft & punchy" (The Guardian), **** "Seriously funny" (The Stage).