This House

Theatre, Drama Garrick Theatre , Covent Garden Monday January 23 2017 - Saturday February 25 2017
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Phil Daniels and Steffan Rhodri

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Steffan Rhodri and Nathaniel Parker

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Malcolm Sinclair, Nathaniel Parker and Ed Hughes

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Malcolm Sinclair

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Phil Daniels

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Phil Daniels and Steffan Rhodri

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Kevin Doyle and Robert Gilbert

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James Graham's peerless political drama returns for 2016

James Graham’s surprise hit about the fraught Westminster wranglings of the 1970s – first seen in London at the National Theatre in 2012 – has made its long-awaited West End transfer against a starkly changed political climate. Originally its subject matter seemed to chime perfectly with the ConDem coalition. Now, in an age of Brexit and Trump, it serves as a reminder of the perennial challenges of democracy itself.

Largely set in the Tory and Labour rival whips’ offices, 'This House' highlights the passion, commitment and skullduggery of those on both sides as they fight a four-and-a-half year 'war of attrition' from the hung parliament of 1974 to the dawn of Thatcher. It humanises politics and politicians at a time when it seems fashionable to deride them. And for all the apparent dryness of its subject, the play is rich in humour and sentiment.

Jeremy Herrin’s thrilling production remains largely unaltered, with a few rows of onstage seating nodding to its original arrangement at the NT. Many of the cast are new, including the excellent Nathaniel Parker and Steffan Rhodri as Jack Weatherill and Walter Harrison, opposing whips who discover their commonality amid the brutal battles. But this is truly an ensemble effort without a weak link in sight (it would be churlish to quibble over a couple of questionable accents).

There may be much to bemoan in our current politics, but 'This House' is a reminder of the forces underlying it. It brilliantly shows that, though fashions and technologies change, human frailties across the political spectrum will always remain. As Nick Clegg (remember him?) highlights in the programme notes, Graham has captured an enduring dilemma of politics; the tension between principle and practice. Order, order your tickets now.

By: Theo Bosanquet

Posted:

Venue name: Garrick Theatre
Contact:
Address: 2 Charing Cross Rd
London
WC2H 0HH
Transport: Leicester Square tube
Price: £12-£47. Runs 2hrs 45mins
Event phone: 020 7452 3000
Event website: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|8
2 people listening
GeorgeX
Tastemaker

A political drama about the fraught Westminster 1970’s events. A quite difficult play to follow if you are not aware of what was happening at that period.A heavy, lengthy play that deserves though to be seen by everyone interested into theatre as it is brilliantly directed, having amazing choreography, a live band playing according to the play’s tension and a unique set design that have part of the audience being sited on stage, directly inside the House of Commons. Being sited there, I felt that I was part of the play – what an immersive experience!

Karolina Muczacza
tastemaker

The play takes place in the Parliament between years 1974 and 1979 and applies to relationships and games between two groups of whips and minor parties. The war about crucial votes becomes ridiculous as sick or elderly whips are being dragged to the House of Common just to register.


We were lucky enough to get a stage seats,which was a truly unique experience!


Performers were extremely engaging and interesting to watch, I wasn't bored even for a second even considering the fact that the play is relatively long.


I did not feel the dancing and singing was that necessary but all in all: This house is a moving, amusing and sad play, and so is politics. Definitely worth seeing! 


chelseadust
tastemaker

I don't even like politics but I really enjoyed this play. I enjoyed it so much that I have already recommended it to all my friends who are interested in politics. It was a very well-acted story, all about the Labour party trying to hold onto power during a hung Parliament in the 70's. I was genuinely worried that I would fall asleep when I read the description but I was so wrong. This House was smart, witty and hilarious; the play had my attention all the way to the end. I was lucky enough to have 'on stage' seating, which at first I was bricking it but what an amazing experience. As I mentioned, I don't have much interest in politics and loved it, give it a go!

Caoimhe L
tastemaker

Really enjoyed this production. The staging was lively and surprising - I was not expecting dance numbers! The cast was energetic, and really got across the drama and the emotion of the time. One this is for sure anyone who sees this will never be able to say politics is boring!

Sarah C

Witty, clever and brilliantly funny - words you would not normally associate with the subject matter of politics but this play delivers on all levels.

Carly-Ann Clements
Staff Writer

I was expecting quite a heavy, serious play that would be difficult to digest for someone who didn't live through events and isn't well-versed in historical politics but the show was executed with humour and pace making it really approachable.

Abi D
Staff Writer

There hasn't been much in 2016 politics to empathise with or smile at so this transfer feels like a real breath of fresh air. It's funny, sharp, and surprisingly moving in moments, finding the balance between political caricature and reflections on fighting for your integrity beautifully. With the reign of the wotsit Hitler looming, it's reassuring to see politicians portrayed as people just plug, plugging away to get the job done, death and disease be damned. Also... there's a bar! On the stage! And you can use it!

Ray

Loved it. Took my son who was not even alive when these events unfolded but he "got it" Loved the band reminding us of the social context and giving the whole piece an extra dimension