Rory Bremner’s “2010 General Election Battle Bus” arrived in Oxford on Friday and drew up outside the Playhouse. If there’s an election in the wind, you can be sure that Bremner will take advantage and put some juice in the tank to bring to potential voters what he does best: brilliant impressions and excellent p***-taking political jokery.

The Playhouse was packed on a mellow afternoon: the booking had been made for 5pm, and the stage had to be cleared in time for that evening’s performance of Sweet Charity; we were promised 90 minutes uninterrupted entertainment from Bremner and friends.

The first half was great, with good local research in evidence: “Oxford East? You’re a marginal. You’re going to get a visit. Blackbird Leys? No, No (Gordon Brown) – Barton? Not my kind of town: I won’t go anywhere there’s a Matalan (Mandelson). Anyone here from Witney? See me later (as himself).”

Rory Bremner is the finest current practitioner of his trade. He’s been on our comic horizons since he first got his own TV show in 1987 – which means he’s had six elections- worth of politicians to learn. And it has never been just the voices: he also tries for facial expressions and always gets the mannerisms.

He reels them off: “If we’re going to have a hung Parliament, who shall we start with?” “I’ve got a helicopter: what’s the difference between me and Afghanistan?” (the Queen) “I don’t do a very good Cameron; he does a better Blair than I do – I just do the voice, he’s doing the whole career.”

I enjoyed the naughtiness of Prince Charles pushing emissions up Camilla’s agenda, the starkness of his David Blunkett and a quite wonderful minute of Billy Connolly being a servant at Balmoral looking for Cherie Blair’s contraceptive equipment.

Then the gear change: on to the stage to form a political panel came Jill Kirby of the Centre for Policy Studies, Will Hutton of the Work Foundation and musician and writer Brian Eno. For other shows on this tour, Bremner has engaged political personalities such as Tony Benn and Michael Portillo to join him.

But this was a good set of pundits and we had three-quarters-of-an-hour of fairly serious political give and take.

Bremner is not adept as a chairman: there was a forced air about him during this section. But there was no holding back the trio of commentators, who enjoyed ding-dongs on the economy, personal liberty and wind power, aided by loud audience interventions.

Overall, a most entertaining start to the campaign locally.

Playhouse patrons may have spotted an antique lavatory pedestal in the foyer. This is to flush out money from theatregoers which will go towards refurbishing the loos downstairs. I have, of course, no idea what the ladies put up with, but the gents is certainly basic.