Opened 11 Nov 2008
Written: by David Hare
Directed: Howard Davis
Cast: Anthony Calf, Tamsin Greig, Jessica Raine, Stanley Townsend, Nicola Walker
Produced by: National Theatre
Synopsis: Nothing is more important to a modern political party than fund-raising. But the values of the donors can't always coincide with the professed beliefs of the party. And family scandal within the cabinet has the potential to throw the money-raisers and the money-spenders into chaos. This play about British public life looks at the way business, media and politics are now intertwined tonobody's advantage, as, in an unforgiving world, one character after another passes through Gethsemane
What the popular press had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Howard Davies’s suitably cool production cannot disguise the fact that the melodramatics of the action are not well suited to a play intent upon lamenting the decline and fall of Labour." ALICE JONES for THE INDEPENDENT says, "[David Hare] has turned his hand to party funding...He has ramped up the drama with 17 short, often confrontational scenes, added jokes...And while some of its striving to be trendy is a touch mid-life crisis-esque – not least the techno remixes of classical music – Howard Davies' production zips along. Bob Crowley's shape-shifting set, a white box which goes from office to squash court to Sicilian coast, is fabulous." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "It stands comparison with Hare's very best work...Howard Davies's beautifully martialled production contains any number of good performances." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "This is routine Hare - how I tire of that urbane and condescending tone...There are some sharp points and witty lines, but whenever Hare tries to make us feel for his one-dimensional characters, even these fine actors cannot make us care." JOHN THAXTER for THE STAGE says, "Slick staging." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Irritating but engrossing new play."
Production Photo by Catherine Ashmore