The Garrick Theatre gets a political makeover
Green benches are being introduced for new production of James Graham's This House.
Ever wished that you could take a front row seat in the House of Commons, or longed to see an entirely different cast of politicians trying to run the country?
Now one of London’s top theatres is on hand to meet both demands at once.
From next month, the Garrick Theatre is set to resemble the Commons chamber – and audience members are invited to take a front row seat to watch the action unfold.
James Graham’s critically acclaimed political drama This House transfers to the Garrick in November following its run at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre. The play previously enjoyed two sell-out seasons at the National Theatre.
As it heads to the Garrick, designer Rae Smith has reworked the theatre with a nod to the original set-up, which had the audience sitting on replica Commons green benches. But in the new production, the green benches will on the stage.
Graham said: “The way Jeremy Herrin and designer Rae Smith have managed to replicate the chaos and atmosphere of the Commons in This House is thrilling to me. And for some lucky audience members to get up and close to the action, right there on the green benches, is I hope an even more exciting way to experience this show.”
This House delves into the wheeling and dealing that underpinned the hung Labour parliament of 1974-79.
The play dives deep into the secret world of the whips who roll up their sleeves and go to often farcical lengths to influence an unruly chorus of MPs.
It has been applauded by critics, with The Guardian’s Michael Billington stating that “it recreates, with startling vividness, the madness of life in the Westminster village during five action-filled years”.
Earlier this year, Graham told Total Politics that he was working on a new play about the Labour party and a new TV drama series set in Downing Street."Other people would say it’s attempting to be a British West Wing. I wouldn’t say that, because that’s a kiss of death," he said.