This House is an Olivier Award-nominated political drama which premiered at the National Theatre in 2012 will make its long awaited West End premiere at the Garrick Theatre this November. The current political warfare between rival parties is no news to playwright James Graham who has seen it all before:
1974. The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it’s a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote. It’s a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and the building creaks under idiosyncrasies and arcane traditions.
Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, James Graham’s This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
About the production, directed by Jeremy Herrin, James Graham says, ‘In a slightly unsettling way, I feel that we’re back living in an age of no consensus,’ noting that its story deals with a phase in the past when the post-war harmony between the main parties was starting to break down.
He added: ‘It’s no coincidence that the biggest event in the Seventies that led to a breakdown of our political systems was the European referendum — and talk of Scottish independence — and the country is having that identity crisis again.’
Commenting on the much anticipated return of the play to the London stage, Herrin says: “There’s a joyful theatricality in the way This House represents our parliamentary process, with all its ludicrous quirks… There has always been such good will around this show, so it’s brilliant we can share it with more people at the Garrick, an appropriate stone’s throw away from the House of Commons.”
This House extended its original run at the National Theatre several times and it’s great to learn that many cast members from that production will be in the revival at Chichester Festival Theatre from September 23, 2016 to October 29, 2016. A Pre-Show Talk will be on offer on September 28 from 18:00 with Kate Mosse with Jeremy Herrin. The free post-show talk (October 11, 2016), also hosted by Kate Mosse, give you the chance to have those burning questions answered, as cast and creative team members join the audience for a chat about all things related to the production. Producers Nica Burns and Caro Newling will move the play into the Garrick from November 19, 2016 to February 25, 2017. The Duration is 2hrs 55mins including one interval and it will be performed from Monday - Saturday 7.30pm and Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm
Returning cast members include Phil Daniels as Bob Mellish and Lauren O’Neil as Ann Taylor. New members in the House include Nathaniel Parker as Jack Weatherill, Kevin Doyle as Michael Cocks, Steffan Rhodri as Walter Harrison and Malcolm Sinclair as Humphrey Atkins.