This House**** (National – Cottesloe, 19 Oct 2012)

Posted: October 20, 2012 in Theatre

With the Cottesloe configured to resemble the House of Commons, the audience seated on the Members’ benches, James Graham’s new play examines the turbulent proceedings during the hung Parliaments of 1974-79 from the perspectives of the Whips’ offices of the two main parties. In an age when all politicians appear to be University-educated, “middle class” and pre-occupied solely with media spin, it jolts to be reminded of days when party politics reflected genuine class warfare and events in the House were seen to be of life and death importance. And so, with every vote counting, we see members wheeled into the Chamber on hospital trollies wearing oxygen masks and we are left in no doubt that this was a battlefield, as scenes are performed in the manner of conflicts in Shakespeare’s history plays. The ensemble cast is top class, the writing is crisp, at times bitingly funny and the direction is fluid, peppered with deft touches. A memorable evening.

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