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Roadkill review – greed and corruption at the heart of the government

Although it is set in a world without Brexit or the pandemic, David Hare’s four-parter is a reminder – as if we needed one – that political ambition i

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Although it is set in a world without Brexit or the pandemic, David Hare’s four-parter is a reminder – as if we needed one – that political ambition is rarely pure

It remains a mystery why the sight of comic performers and actors turning their sights on drama always garners gasps of dog-walking-on-its-hind-legs awe. A moment’s thought tells us that most comedy roles are the sum of acting plus comedy; everyone embarking on the endeavour is the equivalent of Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. Then again, no one fully appreciates her while they are caught up in the celluloid magic, either. The moment’s thought needs effort. We are not built to have it naturally.

In Roadkill (BBC One), a new four-part political thriller written by David Hare and directed by Line of Duty’s Michael Keillor, Hugh Laurie gets another chance to show off his dramatic footwork. There is, of course, a whole generation of viewers who know nothing of his ancient comedy partnership with Stephen Fry, nor of his glorious reign as the Prince Regent in Blackadder, let alone his perfect embodiment – if that is the word for a character made entirely from thistledown – of Bertie Wooster. They know him only as the maverick, misanthropic genius Gregory House, around whom were built eight increasingly ambitious series, as moving as they were preposterous, of the medical drama House.

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