Andrew Lloyd Webber, the creator of a string of hit musicals that have delighted audiences around the globe, reportedly wants to sell his four West End theaters, and one of the people interested in buying them is American Sean “Puffy” Combs. Rumor has it that Combs wants to convert the theaters into hip-hop nightclubs. However, in the best traditions of British satire, Alexis Petridis writes a howler of a parody about what P. Diddy might do with the jewels of West End theater in The Guardian:
The season, entitled We Invented the Theatre, contains what Combs describes as “classic drama, adapted by one of the all-time great hip-hop lyricists, producers and performers – I mention no names – to reflect the hustle and the game in 2005. We got ‘Tis Pity She’s a Ho. We got Hamlet, but we kind of moved the action from Denmark to NYC, and shifted the lead character slightly so he now one of the all-time great hip-hop lyricists, producers and performers, looking to avenge the death of his vastly overweight former crack-dealer protege. He don’t stab no one in the arras, he record a hip-hop cover of a Sting song in tribute instead.” …
Perhaps the most ambitious of Combs’s projects sees his former paramour Jennifer Lopez taking the lead role in Berthold Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children. … [“Y]ou know, it all depends on how you want your Verfremdungseffekt served up. Me, I want it served up by a honey with a phat-ass donk, and I expect my man Michael Billington will agree.”
What’s funnier is that initially I missed the disclaimer at the top, and it wasn’t until the Verfremdungseffekt reference that I realized the whole thing was a put-on. The Brits can get very snooty, but they also know how to skewer someone with panache. Read the whole thing.