Portraying Bill Clinton as suffering from a Jekyll and Hyde personality disorder, ‘Clinton: The Musical’ is hilarious in its irreverence.
Clinton here is depicted by two actors: Stephen Arden is William Jefferson Clinton, an upstanding politician and family man, while John McLarnon plays Billy Clinton, a shameless horn dog only in politics for the sex. Everyone involved in the Clinton presidency is ruthlessly sent up, from Hilary to Monica Lewinsky, with a special mention to Paul Hodge’s portrayal of Kenneth Starr. “What’s wrong entertains,” he sings, “That’s why you’ll remember the thong and the chains.” Yes, the actor wears these items, Monica’s dress bears a lurid white stain on the bottom and Hilary makes a crack about how no-one could be blacker than her (it makes sense in context). This ruthless, foul-mouthed comedy is not one for the PC sticklers by any means but almost everyone else should find something to entertain, even if the events of the period have been dulled in memory over time.
There is also some genuine heart here – even bad boy Billy doesn’t want to hurt Hilary by coming clean about Monica Lewinsky. There’s also a point to be made about how William’s dreams would have come to nothing without Billy’s balls. But for the most part this show is satire at its nastiest and all the better for it too.