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Ian Waller enjoys a piece of faultless, hilarious and just superb theatre

Who was to know that Winston Churchill wears union jack underwear, Adolf Hitler is a pretty mean ukulele player and the whole of the second world war can be condensed into a 15 minute song and dance routine? But it’s all true and to prove it, book a ticket for Adult & Winston which is currently playing at Tobacco Factory Theatres in Bristol, and just has to be some of the funniest and most superbly acted theatre that you’re going to see for a very long time.

Adolf & Winston is produced, written and performed by Living Spit, a company already well-loved for previous productions including The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I: Virgin on the Ridiculous, both of which clearly have created a loyal fan base who couldn’t wait for the opening night of this latest run.

Actually, the play started with a bit of bad news – due to illness, actor Howard Coggins had to withdraw, leaving the third of the founding trio, Craig Edwards, to add to his role as director and step into Howard’s part as Winston. Not that the unplanned intervention or indeed a lack of a suitably rotund physique mattered, the result was still superb.

The action starts with WInston Churchill in the bath, looking forward to the quiet years of retirement when World War Two goes and breaks out and he’s called in to lead the country. Meanwhile, over in Germany, Adolf Hitler (Stu Mcloughlin), works out the best way to take over the world and deal with old Winston.

The rest is comic genius that turns the Horrible Histories style of comedy all the way up to 11, throws in plenty of fruity language (the age recommendation is 16+) , but with not a single bad joke, dodgy song or slight slip-up along the way. With the two actors taking on several roles each – including Stalin with a huge brush for a moustache – yes, there are certainly a good few racial stereotypes to deal with, but it really is all done in the best possible taste and you find yourself laughing so much, it’s very difficult to take offence.

The highlight of the whole 75 minutes show (with no interval) has to be the hugely impressive 15 song and dance routine to cover the whole of the 1939-45 conflict, Dunkirk, D-Day, Russian winters, meeting with FDR and the rest. Saying that, the scene with Adolf and Eva Braun planning their suicides in the bunker – which, fair enough, doesn’t exactly suggest a laugh a minute comedic routine – is absolute gold, even if you kind of already know the outcome.

It’s difficult to fault Adolf & Winston – in fact, it’s impossible so why bother trying… Given another couple of free evenings I’d be back again, and judging from the applause, so would most of the rest of the audience as well.

Adolf & Winston plays at Tobacco Factory Theatres until 12 November. For more details and to book tickets, go to