Never So Good
10th October 2012
I normally make a point of catching a show on opening night, to get my review out and about and hopefully plopping a few bums on seats in the process.
This time however I was elsewhere (my previous review).
What makes it strange though; after all of the musicals and comedies that I have seen of late, to be coming to a political drama/biog about a previous Conservative Prime Minister on the very day that our current Conservative Prime Minister made his main speech at conference...and although not a fan of the Tories, it was a fairly stirring speech all the same.
Harold Macmillan was a fan of speeches, the title of this Howard Brenton written play is part of one of Macmillan's most famous.
Never So Good the play is divided into four main parts covering his early life, his step into politics, The Suez Canal crisis and finally his promotion to becoming PM.
Throughout the play the younger and the older cross paths, with the less mature Macmillan, shadowing and almost taking the piss out of the contemporary model. On the other hand the wiser mode of the Statesman giving solid advice to the former.
We see behind the scenes of Number 10 where Neville Chamberlain and Anthony Eden form tight political circles, all with a glass of the finest Whiskey at hand, the fights between them over what Winston Churchill will or wont bring to the street of Britain and Macmillan's personal struggles with health and infidelity in his marriage (he had to work alongside his wife's lover for a major part of his political career).
Towards the end of his career the more thoughtful and wiser study of the man came shining through.
Seeing how the close bonds are made behind closed doors was an amazing insight into the world of politics.
The acting of all on board was in my opinion superlative.
Sean Burnside, as young Macmillan, was cocky, funny and a delight to watch.
Gordon Russell as the elder, was in cracking form, both together spewing vocalised fighting talk was a joy!
Roger Liddle (Eden) and Paul Carding (Chamberlain) were very good as PM select. I closed my eyes as the call to war was broadcast, taking me back to when my Grandparents told me of the horrors of it all when they heard it all unfold on their wireless ...very goosebumpy! And very emotional. I am sure the older members in the audience could probably concur with this.
Never So Good is a very well put together play, with superb interactions that had me gripped from curtain up onwards.
Never So Good runs until Saturday 13th October.