Tom Lehrer is for many a musical comedy legend. For a man who has barely played 100 times live and released only a handful of albums, his legacy is writ large across the genre.
The danger for perfromer Adam Kay is to stumble into pure homage. However the show isn’t a straight impression of Lehrer’s Harvard drawl, instead it’s modernised and Anglicised and it’s and much the better for it. It plays like a loving biography: songs are explained, poems have been unearthed and rare material is finally on display.
Kay’s other comedic work may be simpler on the ear but this is a perfect showcase of his credentials. It’s about as complete a Lehrer experience as it’s possible to have in the modern age.
Words: Tom Crosby
Picture: Idil Sukan
Adam Kay: The Remains of Tom Lehrer, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Aug 23-29 (not 24), 3:45pm