Churchill indulges in a lazy, lighthearted exploration into the inner-world of once British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Pip Utton as Churchill entertains, while still managing to bring out the humanity of this once-powerful man.
Born, raised, and educated in Cannock, Pip Utton is today considered one of the UK’s leading solo performers. Pip writes, produces, and performs one-man acts around the world, inspiring audiences with his innovative and engaging monodramas. Educated as a gemologist, Pip was a jeweler by trade with no formal training as an actor. He entered amateur dramatics in his thirties, and has been known to call theatre his “midlife crisis.” Pip earned his first taste of success with his portrayal of Tony Hancock in Hancock’s Last Half Hour. Eighteen months later he founded his own company, Pip Utton Theatre Co., and enjoyed his next major triumph with Adolf, which he both wrote and performed. Adolf has toured all over the world, from Hong Kong to New Zealand to Estonia, and has been translated into four different languages. After his depiction of Adolf Hitler, Pip garnered a loyal following enamored by his interpretations of famous men, including Charlie Chaplin, Charles Dickens, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The prolific Pip is a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, having performed every August for the last 21 years, and currently has seven shows in his repertoire, the newest of which is Churchill, and is working on three new shows at the moment. Though in his sixties, his energy is boundless, and he aims to continue producing one new piece each year.
Pip Utton is a consummate performer. His new play Churchill is a delightful, intelligent insight into the life of Winston Churchill. – British Theatre Guide
The script is peppered with Churchill’s put-downs and pithy humour. It initially feels surprising, out of place, but those who knew him commented on his “Puckish humour,” his “boyish chuckle” and “tremendous sense of fun.” Utton combines some of these ripostes, which were intended to flatten but leave the impudent alive, to ensure that Churchill always gets the final word – and the last laugh. One self-confessedly cheap gag is perhaps not worthy of the great man, but does get a huge jingoistic cheer. – Edinburghguide.com
Churchill starts in a surprising fashion and thoroughly entertains throughout. If you like one man shows, do not miss this one. – Fringereview.co.uk
This is Churchill at war and at his best. Utton is careful not to overplay the stereotype and maintains a portrayal which tends more towards reflection than impersonation. During his delivery of the definitive ‘we shall fight them on the beaches’ speech, you could hear a pin drop as the audience was both stirred and uplifted by the orator. Utton had the audience in the palm of his hand. – Broadway Baby