Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until Saturday 2nd June 2018
Reviewed by Melanie Torley
This House is set in 1974 and writer James Graham takes us through the political turmoil of a hung Government and Labour’s struggle to stay in power with the narrowest of seats. It’s a fictional account but has been inspired by true events.
The play starts with a select number of the audience being invited on to the stage to make up the back benches. In the middle of stage are the Whips’ offices from the two opposing parties and the fast-moving play weaves between these offices and the underbelly of Westminster. The scenery captures the essence of the Palace of Westminster wonderfully.
There are a lot of strong character’s throughout the show and special mention has to go to Martin Marquez (Bob Mellish) and William Chubb (Humphrey Atkins) who both portray their characters to a tee. Natalie Grady plays the strong woman Ann Taylor who is trying to make her way in a male orientated world, and manages to stand shoulder to shoulder with the men and hold her own quite nicely. Then there’s the minister who is brought in to Westminster less than a week after giving birth and has to breastfeed in the Whips office, causing much consternation. There’s a brilliant moment in the show when Louise Ludgate (MP for Coventry South West) shows her defiance of the Whips.
This review wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the live band, who supported the cast throughout the show.
All in all I would say this is a show worth seeing. There’s some genuine laugh out loud moments and will keep you on the edge of your seat with all the high and lows of the political engine room.