This House (play)
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|Written by||James Graham|
|Date premiered||September 18, 2012|
|Place premiered||Cottesloe Theatre
This House is a play by James Graham. It received its première in the Royal National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre and ran there from 18 September to 1 December 2012 in a production directed by Jeremy Herrin. In February 2013 it transferred to the larger Olivier Theatre where it continued to play with much critical acclaim to packed houses.
It derives its title from the name given to the House of Commons by MPs. The action takes place in the period in British parliamentary history between the February 1974 general election and the 1979 vote of no confidence in the government of James Callaghan. The play is set in the Palace of Westminster mainly in the offices of the Labour and Tory Chief Whips. Party leaders such as Ted Heath, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Jeremy Thorpe and Margaret Thatcher remain offstage characters. The narrative concentrates on the relationships between the two sets of whips (the so-called usual channels), and between the whips, their backbenchers and the members of the minor parties.
Although the play is based on real events it is not a documentary nor is it biography. It is a fictionalized account of a turbulent period in British politics. Conversations are imagined, characters have been changed, incidents added and the time line adjusted.
- Phil Daniels (Andrew Frame in some performances due to Daniels' bereavement) - Bob Mellish, Labour chief whip.
- Vincent Franklin - Michael Cocks, Labour chief whip under Callaghan.
- Philip Glenister - Walter Harrison, Labour deputy chief whip (later portrayed by Reece Dinsdale when the production transferred).
- Lauren O'Neil - Ann Taylor, Labour whip.
- Richard Ridings - Joe Harper, Labour whip.
- Julian Wadham - Humphrey Atkins, Tory chief whip.
- Charles Edwards - Jack Weatherill, Tory deputy chief whip.
- Gunnar Cauthery
- Christopher Godwin
- Andrew Havill
- Ed Hughes
- Helena Lymbery
- Matthew Pidgeon
- Giles Taylor
- Tony Turner
- Rupert Vansittart
- Program, This House (Olivier Version). National Theatre. 2013.