The Remains of Tom Lehrer (Performed by Adam Kay)

For a fan of legendary lyricist Tom Lehrer this show is a delight. If you’re not a fan of Mr Lehrer then this show will still delight you and you will be a fan by the end. You’ll also be a fan of Adam Kay.

The Remains of Tom Lehrer succeeds in being both a tribute and a reinvention of the songs of one of the greats by a performer whose love of his subject shines through and has the talent to make it work

This one man show includes all the hits that you want to hear plus more than a few obscure songs and Kay is even brave enough to throw in a couple of his own excellent compositions inspired by Lehrer.

Kay is clearly a Lehrer super fan and has the credentials to tackle the work of one of the greatest modern musical satirists; he’s the frontman of the awesome Amateur Transplants who have received millions of YouTube hits with The London Underground Song, he recently won a London Cabaret Award and is a regular on Radio 4’s Now Show.

It’s one thing to perform these musical numbers but Kay has the audacity to attempt to rework them for a modern audience and the results are something wonderful. Without attempting to mimic Lehrer, Kay channels the temperament and frantic disdain of the great man. Comic asides and a little bit of audience participation keep us entertained as we flit around a somewhat chronological tale of the life of a man who retired from performing in his thirties over 50 years ago.

The Remains of Tom Lehrer succeeds in being both a tribute and a reinvention of the songs of one of the greats by a performer whose love of his subject shines through and has the talent to make it work. I can imagine that in 50 years I’ll be sitting down to review a retrospective of Adam Kay’s career.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Performances

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The Blurb

Following sell-out shows in London’s West End, award-winning musical comedian Adam Kay presents his take on the legendary songbook of Tom Lehrer. Lehrer’s satirical songs have delighted and horrified audiences for decades, including Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, The Masochism Tango and The Elements. Classics are revisited from a contemporary perspective, as well as unearthing songs never before performed. Kay writes comedy for the BBC and Channel 4. He’s a regular on Radio 4’s The Now Show. ‘Inspired updates to classic material’ **** (Times). ‘Great, guilty fun’ **** (Telegraph).

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