A rock opera about Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair is coming to Salford

TONY! has been created by Harry Hill and Steve Brown and is heading to the Lowry theatre in October.

By Kelly Bishop | 10 May 2023

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In the latest edition of things nobody asked for but we got anyway, an opera about the life of Tony Blair co-written by comedian Harry Hill is heading to the Lowry Theatre in Salford this October.

Tony Blair served as Prime Minister of the UK for a decade from 1997-2007 after the largest landslide general election victory in history. His “Cool Britannia” party at Number 10 shortly after becoming Prime Minister was famously attended by stars including Noel Gallagher and his campaign theme tune was Things Can Only Get Better by D:REAM whose keyboard player was the now even more famous physicist Brian Cox. The charismatic Blair was one of the most popular politicians in UK history before dramatically falling from grace due to his involvement in the Iraq war and becoming one of the most unpopular figures in UK history. There’s certainly a lot of story to pack into a Tony Blair opera.

Tony Blair was famous for his “Cool Britannia” party. Image: The Lowry

Calling itself “a reckless reappraisal of the life of former Ugly Rumours front man and Britain’s first pop Prime Minister”, TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] will tour the UK this autumn. It lands at The Lowry in Salford from Monday 2to Saturday 7 October, coinciding with The Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

According the the press release: “The musical tells the story of how one man went from peace-loving, long-haired hippy and would-be pop star to warmongering multimillionaire in just a couple of decades”. 

Cherie Blair, Princess Diana, John Prescott, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Osama bin Laden, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein and Gordon Brown also appear in the play, which we are expecting to be irreverent, funny and outrageous.

Cherie Blair also stars in the Tony Blair rock opera. Image: The Lowry

Harry Hill and Steve Brown said, “It’s a show for Tony Lovers and Haters everywhere – and everyone in between – don’t expect a history lesson – in our world Tony’s born singing and dancing, Saddam Hussein is played as Groucho Marx and Gordon Brown occasionally turns into the Incredible Hulk – let’s just say all the facts are there… but not necessarily as they occurred!”

The show’s creators are keen for us to note that neither Tony Blair, the Tony Blair Institute, nor any other person featured in this production have endorsed the production or its marketing materials and are in no way affiliated with the production.

TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera]

The Lowry, Salford

2-7 October 2023

Comedy theatre