The Confessions of Gordon Brown*** (White Bear Theatre, 22 June 2013)

Posted: June 22, 2013 in Theatre

The flyers describe Gordon Brown as “the greatest failure at being Prime Minister in 200 years”, possibly unkind, but who’s arguing? This monologue is written and directed by Kevin Toolis and performed brilliantly by Ian Grieve who, although never resorting to crude impersonation, bears an uncanny resemblance to the ex-PM. This is a quick-tempered man, often red-faced and raging, who has spent his entire life fighting for the top job and is now coming to terms with the fact that he is just not up to it. He reflects back on his life with disillusionment, realising that his lofty aspirations for the nation had been lost in the grimy reality of modern politics. Some of the best moments come when he vents his loathing for his predecessor and,on this, performer and audience are united. There are many very funny jokes, odd though they sound coming from the mouth of a man who always seemed devoid of any sense of humour. The show is in preparation for Edinburgh and it will need to lose 20 minutes to fit into its slot there; it will benefit greatly from this as there was far too much repetition in the second half and it needs a sharper focus. Who next – Tony Blair? Unlikely as his confessions would take far longer than one evening.

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