WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2
WHERE? National Theatre (Lyttelton) RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)
WHEN? 26/8, opens 29/8 and runs to 25/11/19
Stars Alex Jennings and Lindsay Duncan boast 5 Olivier Awards between them and we really couldn’t be in safer hands.
- Read on for reasons including how this new play is occasionally laugh-out-loud funny
They play fictitious Conservative MP Robin Hesketh and his feisty left wing wife Diana on a Saturday morning in May 1988 at the Cotswolds home they share at weekends.
He is feeling guilty about some controversial legislation that he and his Cabinet colleagues have helped pass this week and she has suspicions about him that she refuses to allow to go unexplored any longer during this bracing two-hander.
Author Simon Woods penned this new play which is essentially a married couple rowing for 90 minutes but does boast some laugh-out-loud lines pertinent to now particularly about a British public resolute in its desire to be ‘f***ed by an Old Etonian’.
We’ve never seen either Jennings or Duncan live before (although we did meet Jennings at an Old Vic fundraiser) and, despite being in row six, we occasionally found Duncan a little hard to hear.
Both, however, were devastatingly funny and Jennings, in particular, was brilliant both solo and as a support to his partner.
Hansard is the name given to the verbatim record of debate in Parliament and it is this play on a version of events which comes to the fore as the show reaches its tragic denouement.
Often shows at this venue can feel over long and this certainly benefits from its brevity.
We felt however that the conclusion to this play was a little manufactured and predictable but its subject matter was ground well worth exploring from this particular vantage point.