I am in no way suggesting that the National Theatre had anything at all to do with the recent demise of Margaret Thatcher(!), but I have been wondering whether this unexpected topicality has pushed sales for their next NTlive cinema offering, This House. I didn't want to take the chance that it might sell out and so bought our tickets at the weekend.
This House is a new play by James Graham, set in the Parliamentary Whips' office through the five years before Thatcher came to power, which will be screened at Eastbourne's Cineworld 'for one night only' on the 16th of May. Directed by Jeremy Herrin and designed by Rae Smith, the play has a huge 23-strong cast including Reece Dinsdale, Charles Edwards, Phil Daniels and Julian Wadham. Oh, to have the National's budget!
It’s 1974 and the corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backbiting as Britain’s political parties battle to change the future of the nation, whatever it takes. In this hung parliament, the ruling party holds on by a thread. Votes are won and lost by one, fist fights erupt in the bars, and ill MPs are hauled in to cast their votes. It’s a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and age-old traditions and allegiances are thrown aside in the struggle for power. James Graham’s biting, energetic and critically-acclaimed new play strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes who roll up their sleeves, and on occasion bend the rules, to manoeuvre a diverse and conflicting chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
Cineworld, Thu 16th May 2013, 19:00.
Tickets £13.50 (£11.50 concessions), available online, by calling 0871 200 2000 or in person from the machines in the foyer.