Last chance to see James Graham’s This House at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

James Graham

James Graham © Johan Persson

There are just six performances remaining for This House, James Graham’s smash-hit political drama examining the 1974 hung parliament, playing at Birmingham Repertory Theatre until Saturday 21 April.

James Graham’s critically acclaimed and prescient political drama takes on a new importance in the current political climate. Are we in the midst of a political revolution? Can the country stay united? Roll back to 1974… The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and back biting as Britain’s political parties’ battle to change the future of the nation, whatever it takes.

 In an era of chaos, both hilarious and shocking, when votes are won or lost by one, there are fist fights in the parliamentary bars, high-stakes tricks and games are played, and sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their crucial votes as the government hangs by a thread. This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes; the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.

James Graham said, ‘It’s long been an ambition to take This House to all of the places that get named in the play. It’s always felt like a national play. Even though we set in in the corridors of Westminster, it feels like a cross-section of regions, people and classes across the country who converge in this building every week and represent their constituencies. And this was the watershed parliament, leading up to 1979 when everything – for better or for worse, depending on your politics! – changed forever, no matter where you’re from…’

Jeremy Herrin said, ‘It’s brilliant to be able to tour This House around the UK, as it’s a national story with people from all across the country, with a range of accents and classes at the heart of it. The comedy in This House gives a unique experience to each city and audience it visits. We were lucky enough to connect with some of the audiences we’ll be visiting with our NT Live broadcast of This House, so 5 years on, it’s a delight now to share the production on stage’.

The cast – who play a colourful host of MPs and Whips – is Ian Barritt (Batley & Morley/Woolwich West/Belfast North/Western Isles & Ensemble), William Chubb (Humphrey Atkins), Giles Cooper (Fred Silvester), Stephen Critchlow (Bromsgrove/Abingdon/Liverpool Edge Hill/Paisley/Fermanagh & Ensemble), James Gaddas (Walter Harrison), Natalie Grady (Ann Taylor), Ian Houghton (Armagh, Ambulance Man, Ensemble), David Hounslow (Joe Harper), Marcus Hutton (Ensemble), Harry Kershaw (Paddington South/Chelmsford/South Ayrshire/Henley/Marioneth /Coventry North West/Rushcliffe/Perry Barr & Ensemble), Louise Ludgate (Rochester & Chatham/Welwyn & Hatfield/Coventry South West/Ilford North/Lady Batley & Ensemble), Geoffrey Lumb (Clockmaker/Peebles/Redditch/Stirlingshire West/Clerk & Ensemble), Nicholas Lumley (Oxshott/Belfast West/St Helens & Ensemble), Martin Marquez (Bob Mellish), Matthew Pidgeon (Jack Weatherill), Miles Richardson (Speaker Act I/Mansfield/Sergeant at Arms Act II/West Lothian & Ensemble), Tony Turner (Michael Cocks), Orlando Wells (Walsall North/Plymouth Sutton/Serjeant at Arms Act I/Speaker Act II/Caernarfon/Clerk & Ensemble) and Charlotte Worthing (Ensemble). Ian Houghton, David Hounslow, Matthew Pidgeon, Tony Turner and Orlando Wells return to This House having previously appeared in the West End production.

Directed by Jeremy Herrin with Jonathan O’Boyle, the production is designed by Rae Smith with lighting design by Paule Constable and Ben Pickersgill on tour, music by Stephen Warbeck, choreography by Scott Ambler and sound by Ian Dickinson.

This House is produced on tour by Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong.

James Graham is also taking part in The Big Arts and Education Debate, a symposium for teachers, practitioners, educators and young people to debate the urgent issue of creative arts provision in schools on Friday 20 April at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Joining James on the panel will be Ammo Talwar MBE, CEO of Punch Records, Christine Quinn, West Midlands Regional Schools Commissioner, Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, Indu Rubasingham, Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre (formerly the Tricycle Theatre), Pauline Tambling CBE, CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills, Sam Cairns, Co-Director of Cultural Learning Alliance and Tim Boyes CEO of Birmingham Education Partnership. The Big Arts and Education Debate will be chaired by Steve Ball, Associate Director at The REP, and theatre practitioner, Carl Woodward. Book online birmingham-rep.co.uk or call the box office 0121 236 4455.