he replies, "No, it's Bob actually, but the likeness is uncanny. It might have seemed natural to search for the heart of the drama in the political debates of the time; but Graham brilliantly decides to put the machinations of the Labour and Tory whips under the microscope.

James Graham’s surprise hit about the fraught Westminster wranglings of the 1970s – first seen in London at the National Theatre in 2012 – has made its long-awa Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. Every single vote counts, and it is up to the whips to do deals with minority parties, cajole invalids out of bed, and discipline wayward party members to make sure that they get the result they want. The white heat of the drama arises from the practice of "pairing" – the gentleman's agreement by which, when one member of parliament cannot attend to vote, a member of the opposing party removes themselves. Play Something was staged at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and The Drayton Arms, London.

Stay up to date. What Graham does very well is to humanise the politics, and the astonishing toll it took on the party, 17 Labour MPs died as a result of the strain of overwork and keeping the party in slim power.

You can Update Your Preferences or Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email we send you. TICKETING PARTNERS | OUR RATING SYSTEM. Memorably, when one character exclaims "Jesus Christ!" Simply enter your email address in the box below, Numbers game: Phil Daniels and Vincent Franklin in 'This House', Both the wit and the obscenities are free-flowing. Reece Dinsdale’s proudly working-class, acerbically funny Walter dominates a large chunk of the action as Labour’s Deputy Chief Whip, providing a down-to-earth counterpoint to Julian Wadham’s seasoned and witty Humphrey Atkins (pictured above left), the Chief Tory Whip. James Graham’s superb play, first screened in 2013, examines the tumultuous political years between 1974-79, when the Labour Party had a wafer-thin majority that hovered between 4 and 1, skilfully shows us the mechanics of democracy, the deals and sacrifices. We see a man rushed in from hospital after an appendix operation to vote, as well as a woman who is breastfeeding her week-old baby. and Hammed Animashaun (The Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom. Until, because he is literally at death’s door, he isn’t asked to attend the last vote of no confidence, and the opposition win by one vote.

Although the pace does slow a little in a slightly overlong second half, there is an immense clarity to the production, (such as the Speaker of the House introducing each MP), that keeps the audience involved. Most poignantly we see one MP clearly on the brink of death fighting to save the party he loves.

Graham uses broad strokes to introduce the characters, mushy peas and saveloys for the Labour, opera and military references for the Tories. This House National Theatre at Home 4 Stars Streaming until 3 June. Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this hilarious play inspired the hit TV series and is a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life. 4 Stars

As Cummings’s extraordinary performance in the Downing Street Rose Garden sits fresh in our minds, This House takes its cue from another Rose Garden moment, when David Cameron and Nick Clegg announced their new Tory/Lib Dem coalition as a “historic and seismic shift”. ", Ink, Almeida Theatre review - The Sun rises while show sinks, Quiz, ITV review - cheats never prosper. What is National Theatre Live? CONTACT |

Franklin’s Michael Cox forlornly observes “I imagined it would be like being a rock star”.

A more interesting question is how a then 36-year-old had the insight to identify the impact and ascendancy of a figure who for most of us at that point was eclipsed by the politicians with whom he worked.

Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy will be captured live from the Bridge Theatre in London.

That question is answered in part by the National Theatre’s timely resurrection of This House, Graham’s blisteringly witty and insightful 2012 play about the Labour government’s fight to cling to power between 1974 and 1979.

Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, NT Live: Young Marx), David Moorst (NT Live: Allelujah!) Search for screenings at your local cinema for National Theatre Live.