Listicles Parodies

The Fence Saves The West End

Our plan to revive theatreland.

Theatre in London is wildly expensive these days, much like everything else. But the current programme of reheated classics and declassé musicals will mean that theatre in London will soon be irrelevant and unpopular, which would be a bad thing. So, behold: our plan to save the jewel in London’s cultural crown.

Thriller – Live. No, Seriously. 

Given the enormous advances in medical technology over the last 15 years, the Cameron Mackintosh Company feel that now is the moment to reanimate the pristine remains of controversial philanthropist, Michael Jackson, for a stage show like no other. Combining themes from both his hit album, Thriller, and his abortive final stadium tour, This Is It, the revivified child star is in imperious form, manning an on-stage ferris wheel, cavorting with the undead, and closing the show with a theatrical rebuke to the man that slayed him, Dr. Conrad Murray. Adults only. 

Legally Blondi: The Musical

Hitler’s dog is a hotshot lawyer. Who sings.

Jersey Boys

Audiences have grown tired of American stories on British boards – it’s time to bring this story closer to home. Four sons of the Bailiwick – a dairy farmer, two Nazi scions and a school friend of Henry Cavill – sing bilingual doo-wop tunes about the rural, austere isle of Jersey. Tax buffs will love their a capella tribute to the island’s financial services industry, but more sensitive theatregoers should look to depart before ‘July, 1940 (Oh, What a Night)’

Magic Mike XXL

In a homegrown take on the classic, Britain’s favourite Mikes strip for an audience of hysterical mums. Michael Palin, Michael Owen, Michael Caine, George Michael (in hologram format), Michael (Mick) Lynch, Michael Billington, Michael Bublé, Princess Michael of Kent. All of them stark bollock naked. 

The History Boys

Alan Bennett’s schoolyard romp is revived, with the same cast from 2004 National Theatre production, but with James Corden now replacing Richard Griffiths in the role of Hector. There’s a bit of a rewrite to the final act, too, as Hector survives his motorcycle crash to face justice in the courts for his decades of pederasty. Bandaged, bruised, but with A.E Houseman poems to hand – it’s the quiver in Corden’s eyes as he’s sentenced to 15 years in a Category A prison that keeps the audience coming back for more (well, so the critics say).

The Crucible 

‘I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion,’ says Jonny Lee Miller, in the role of John Higgins. ‘But I wilted, and, like a Christian, I confessed.’ After one too many female-inflected reimaginings of the famous pilgrimite cancel-culture parable, this latest performance of The Crucible is set in the wake of the 2010 World Snooker Championships, as the world number one is blighted by tabloid accusations of match-fixing. Laughs are admittedly sparse, but one can’t help but be moved by the scene where the ‘Fake Sheikh’, Mazher Mahmood, is crushed under a large pile of rocks. 

Big Shop of Horrors

A musical that is set in Selfridges.

An Evening with Gary Lineker

At last, an overdue revival of the 1991 Olivier nominee – seriously, this is a real play, people got way too hyped up after Italia ‘90 – where Gary Lineker, played by Gary Lineker, hosts a variety of guests on-stage for a warm, friendly chat about What’s So Bloody Wrong With This Country. Cameos alternate by the evening, depending on who’s in town and whether The Groucho is really popping off that night, but every performance closes with the affable crisp merchant selecting a beauty from the audience, and inviting her [IN CHARACTER] for a drink or two at his White City penthouse.


Sir Mark Rylance plays an eccentric truth-teller living in the car park outside Twickenham, who tries to teach a group of hard-drinking England rugby fans the real meaning of the hymn, to no avail.

Mean Girls 

The problem with updating Mean Girls for a contemporary audience is the jokes from the 2004 original just don’t hit, because girls aren’t mean in the same way these days. Nobody calls each other lesbians (derogatory) anymore, or attempts to fatten their enemies with Kälteen Bars. Instead, we propose a more modish model of mean-girling: protracted discussions over who is a ‘pick-me girl’; DMing the girlfriends of unfaithful men, claiming to be ‘coming to you as a woman’. Backhanded compliments are handed out with glee – ‘I wish I had your confidence’, ‘I bet you give great hugs’, ‘I could never pull that outfit off, but you are killing it’. In a recurring bit, one of the Mean Girls keeps being introduced to another, like, five times at different parties, each time being met with ‘so nice to meet you’. At the culmination of the play, someone is pushed down the stairs. 

Servants Off!

Let’s go with something a little bit different: a Pinter play not written by Harold Pinter, but featuring Harold Pinter – everyone’s favourite incandescently raging Nobel Laureate. The crotchety Hackneyite finds himself on stage, farcically trying to organise a birthday party for his wife, Lady Antonia Fraser in their Campden Hill Square palazzo, but on the very night that their housekeeper and cook have the evening away from the stove. After a lengthy monologue against US imperialism, the guests arrive, but there’s a slight chill in the air as Harold (played by Jim Broadbent) calls the wife of the Chilean ambassador ‘a cunt’ who knows ‘fuck all about what Pinochet’s really like’. How, the audience want to know, will Lady Antonia survive the meal?

The Phantom of the Opera 

A hideously deformed maestro steals other people’s songs and passes them off as his own, dominating the theatre for decades by doing so. Andrew Lloyd Webber is 75 years old. 


We open in the middle of a sticky summer in 2014. A monster is prowling the streets of Croydon. The Jellicles (the cats who live at the end of the Overground line) band together to try to uncover the identity of the serial killer mutilating felines in Zone 5, led by Old Deuteronomy. The ancient wise cat presides over a trial-by-theory: Rum Tum Tugger suggests early on that these killings could in fact be random; were Macavity, Skimbleshanks and Mr. Mistoffelees just slain by cars, their corpses later toyed with by malevolent foxes, and there is no serial cat killer at all? No, the other cats mewl, maddened by the Midnight Dance. This is Met Police propaganda, and we will not stand for it. 

Sweeney Todd 

In the original Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street terrorises London’s callow, drunken punters. Who would the modern equivalent of this figure be, we asked ourselves? Surely none other than Amy Lamé, the demon night tsar of Soho. Audiences can watch in horror as Lamé lures desperate punters into her empty Sam Smith’s pubs. ‘Roll up, roll up’, caws Lamé in a theatrical Cockney accent, ‘We’re open past 10.30pm! We’re a 24 hour city!’ And then she cackles into her palms, as a chorus line of All Bar One managers solemnly ring their last order bells at 9.45pm. Pints of Guinness are £8.75 at intermission. No place like London!

An E-Scooter Named Desire

A broiling study of masculinity and mental illness in post-war New Orleans, transplanted to 2024 and the road-facing office of columnist P Hitchens. Thrill as he watches E-Scooters go past, decrying their menacing speed and uncouth mien. But mark his enthusiasm: does it betray an inner dissonance? Does some small part of him yearn for the throttling speed and dayglo wheel lighting he sees before him? Has menace become… desire? This urgent and necessary update of the Tennessee Williams classic dares us to confront the duality of man. 

The Tina Turner Diaries

Hard to shake the sense that this has been a mistake. They claim they’d never heard of the infamous bulwark of neo-Nazi literature and we take their word for it, but it doesn’t explain why so much of this spectacular jukebox musical of Tina Turner’s greatest hits, contains so many race war themes. A catastrophic misjudgement.

Les Miserables

A three-hour, one-man show where former Family Fortunes host, Les Dennis, talks about his dependency on antidepressants and addictions to fame, Pringles and drinking Windolene. Still, a cheerier evening than watching a load of French students getting shot by Russell Crowe. 


The era defining musical charts the rise of a political upstart, icon and lover and the woman who supported him. Featuring Neil and Christine as themselves, singing well loved numbers such as Libel Refuted, The Brown Paper Envelope Where It Happens and You’ll Be Back (As Leader of UKIP Wales). Ncuti Gatwa guest stars as Louis Theroux.

The Humane Mousetrap

Not to be confused with the immensely more popular and engaging board game, this latest adaptation of Agatha Christie’s sentinel stage play will have you literally glued to your seat, owing to a lucrative sponsorship by Rentokil. Don’t wear silk or suede. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 

In this twist on the classic children’s tale, set in the near-future, Lord Voldemort is no longer trying to eliminate muggles but instead throwing billionaire fantasy authors into prison for doing tweets. It’s a bleak world we’re witness to, one where the Sorting Hat dishes out pronouns instead of houses. Harry Potter is no longer a Gryffindor but a he/they. Audiences join protagonist Hermione Granger – who was always supposed to look like that actually, thank you very much – as she wages war on the Death Eaters, who have set up shop in Tavistock Place aided by the goblins of Gringotts – who were never supposed to look like that actually, thank you very much – as they try to foist their wicked Polyjuice potions on naive gender non-conforming Hogwarts teenagers.  

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