The Cambridge Geek

The Musical Life Of...

Do you miss 15 Minute Musical? That pleasing combination of soundalike tunes and cheeky satire, that ran for ages? Yep, me too. Well I'm afraid it's not back, but BBC Radio Wales have had a go at making something vaguely similar, specifically a set of musical biographies about the lives of famous Welsh people.

This first episode is about Aneurin (Nye) Bevan, most famous for the invention of the NHS. It's obviously relatively short on detail, as you can't do a full life story in 28 minutes, but it does a decent job of getting across the idea of who he is, what he did and why he did it.

There's not a significant amount of conflict to drive the plot, but there's small run-ins with the BMA and a Clement Attlee who is constantly paranoid about people not knowing who he is. This has the amusing effect of him constantly peppering his conversation with facts about his life and political career.

The best thing about this show is the tone, however. There's lots of self-aware side jokes about it being a show, or why people seem to be singing, and it doesn't take itself wildly seriously. Particularly, a narrator who admits she's mostly getting most of her information from Wikipedia, and Bevan's representation as a union steward-style fight figure from the age of 7.

It's an excellent setup, and I heartily recommend it.

Score 5

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Musical Anthology