"have cast quite brilliantly throughout"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 26/11/18

This play has been in the work in progress for at least four years and this is its latest incarnation,..

I still think there is work to be done on it and quickly. Michael McManus is a man who has been heavily into politics and this is an idea of what might happen in about 2020 after Brexit.

Joe Newman, played by Timothy Harker is a thoroughly decent man who has been shunted out of the labour party but as an independent has won the by election with a huge majority. Should he be the next Prime Minister? Using decency?? And integrity?? And independence of mind ?? . All the things that have been missing recently in politics. The first act shows him in the gentlest possible light with his loving but platonic friendship with his neighbour Liz – a warm, sensitive, sexy but fully assertive performance from the full bodied Dee Sadler in an amazing pink jumpsuit. This is a wonderful loving relationship and the scenes are full of wit and laughter.

He also has a warm association with Maggie, his mentor in the Labour Party. A older lady who is amused but not surprised to know that the Chief whip is now wanting him back.

Thomas Mahy plays Josh, Joe’s young friend within the party who betrayed him and was in some measure responsible for him being ejected from the Labour in the first place, now of course he wants to help him – he wants to be on the winning side.

It is rumoured, with absolute truth that Josh and Joe have been more than friends. This is a subplot which does not need a completely unnecessary and distasteful scene involving Joe with his ambitious assistant Sam(Max Keeble). Sam is resentful of the other assistant Anne a hard bitten and hard biting labour lass played by Lisa Bowerman a very classy actress and the two actors work well on their hate scenes together.

Director Jolley Gosnold, and the Author have cast quite brilliantly throughout. The actors are all very special.

Mike Lees the designer has decided on a rather sparse set which gives plenty of room for manoeuvre, including a large TV screen on which appear many well-known faces like Kenneth Clarke, giving their opinions on what is taking place in the country. Lighting designer is Joseph Ed Thomas.

Lees is also responsible for choosing appropriate costumes of all the characters. Most impressive in the gentrification of Joe Newman, his suits becoming darker and more well fitting as his ambition increases and, especially the wonderful Boho costumes of Liz, but all the actors are perfectly dressed to suit their characterisations..

I still feel the play needs a little more work in progress. McManus does have a gift for dialogue an there are some good jokes but I felt him getting a bit bogged down in Act two and it goes on a bit too long.

I enjoyed this play. Always entertaining, well acted, but it does need some cuts, especially the scene I mentioned earlier. The ideas are fine but the second half is too convoluted for us lay folk.

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