On Christmas Day we were treated to Radio 4's 15 Minute Musical: Julian and the Assanging Technicolour Download (see what they did there?) The writers clearly faced an uphill struggle with their material. Not only was there the thorny issue of how to make rape allegations into a rousing show tune, but there was also the more pressing problem of finding something to rhyme with "Assange". In the end they settled on: "Julian Assange/ Sing and dance and play the banj/ I had no need of smoking the ganj..." If BBC Radio 4 is the home of radio comedy, a repossession is overdue.Elizabeth Day, The Observer, 28th December 2013
15 Minute Musicals re-makes musicals with topical storylines. This week, Ramsey Todd - the demon chef of Fleet Street. Geddit? Well, some of the gags will make you groan, but there's no denying the musical skill of those involved nor the overall sense of fun that prevails throughout.Cool Blue Shed, 8th November 2008
Another six-episode package of pocket-sized feasts of song and dance (not seen, for obvious reasons, but referred to for one of those staples of radio comedy, the cheap laugh) from the fluent pens of Richie Webb, David Quantick and Dave Cohen.
The first is the strangest, as Washington High School Musical depends, for its cutting-edge satire, on the contest for the Democratic nomination between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, so there's a certain air of old news about it. Also old musicals - this is less High School Musical than Grease. So Clinton gets to sing a wistful ballad which goes, in part, "Hillary, the lady they tried to pillory/ I am ancillary to you." It's better than that, though. There's a nice anti-Bush rocker with the chorus: "Go, Georgie go/ Georgie no good" and the Little Richard-esque 'Barackobama alopbamboom'.Chris Campling, The Times, 5th November 2008
Hurray! Return of the tonic and inventive show which sends up politics while making fun of all manner of musical genres. Tonight: Washington High School Musical, in which the chorus open the show with a fine Grease-reminiscent chorus Go, Georgie, Go. So, who's going to be the next President of Washington High? Will it be Hillary, 'the lady they love to pillory' as she sings plaintively (and with a glorious string of other improbable rhymes for her name)? Will it be Owopboomabamalama Lopbamboom? 'Tell us more,' sing the chorus. Just brilliant.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 5th November 2008
To find myself recommending a makeover of any genre is a first for me. But the 15 Minute Musical is hardly in the same league as those bowel-evacuation-obsessed offerings on television.
In this series written by the sharply pointed comic nibs of Dave Cohen, David Quantick and Richie Webb, celebrities and politicians get a West End revamp, and in timely fashion, following last night's US Presidential Elections, the focus here is on Barack Obama. But that's where all actuality ends, for this is summer lovin' (and loathin') in the style of Grease. Obama is the John Travolta character and his Olivia Newton-John equivalent is Hillary Clinton.
As musicals go, its main attraction is the power to invoke an entirely enjoyable cringe. As song-writing goes, this is the one and only time you'll ever here 'Hillary' rhymed with 'ancillary' and 'capillary'. Genius.Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 5th November 2008
Tonic of the week was Westminster Side Story, the first in a new run of 15-Minute Musicals. The pastiche of West Side Story was inspired, and the political jokes were convincing as two gangs, Gordon's Goodies and the Hugger Hoodies, battled to dominate the centre ground.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 25th September 2007
Radio 4's 15 Minute Musical, in which celebrities get a West End makeover, is back - and it's the hottest ticket in town.Simon Swift, The Guardian, 17th August 2007
In between straining the sprouts then, wrestling the sherry bottle off a relative and trying to stop the dog chewing a vital bit of Mouse Trap, time may actually only allow for a very quick listen to some comedy. That being the case, Radio 4's ever entertaining 15-Minute Musical skits promise perfect, quick pick-me-ups if things are getting a little fraught. The first over five consecutive days is entitled Oh What A Lovely Blair, billed as a First World War musical that has Cherie keeping the home fires burning. It sounds thoroughly disrespectful - and great fun.Derek Smith, The Stage, 18th December 2006