The Confessions of Gordon Brown

Theatre , Drama
  • 2 out of 5 stars
0 Love It
Save it
 ( © manyriversproductions)
1/5
© manyriversproductions

'The Confessions of Gordon Brown'

 (© manyriversproductions)
2/5
© manyriversproductions

'The Confessions of Gordon Brown'

 (© manyriversproductions)
3/5
© manyriversproductions

'The Confessions of Gordon Brown'

 (© manyriversproductions)
4/5
© manyriversproductions

'The Confessions of Gordon Brown'

 (© manyriversproductions)
5/5
© manyriversproductions

'The Confessions of Gordon Brown'

‘The people will not vote for baldies.’ So goes one of the nuggets of ‘insight’ delivered by erstwhile prime minister Gordon Brown – played by Ian Grieve – in this one-man-show.

Kevin Toolis’s play, in which a desperate Brown reassures himself that he’s up to the job, is occasionally funny. But I’d be spinning things if I said there was much more to take away from it. Grieve’s Brown constantly reminds us of past rulers who found themselves usurping or being usurped, but no amount of glib historical namedropping – Napoleon, Mesopotamian ruler Ur-Nammu – can drum up the drama this 90-minute monologue sorely needs.

‘The Confessions of Gordon Brown’ bills itself as a satire based on interviews with ‘figures in Brown’s leadership circle’ during his tenure at the top. We meet the PM at 5.45am, when his offices are empty and his anger is free to bubble recklessly to the surface. Alone, he talks us through his most frustrating moments (Tony Blair nabbing the Labour leadership) and his highlights – breathless excitement at finally getting his moment in the sun. There is a great deal of swearing.

Brown and his thwarted ambitions have the potential to make fascinating and amusing viewing, but in the hands of Toolis the story crawls along with verbosity, struggling to raise a laugh and failing to connect us with this flawed bundle of anger, vexation and hope. Despite Grieve’s performance being as good as it could be, I’d rather watch the real thing. And that is saying something.

LiveReviews|0
2 people listening