Is a political revolution coming? Will the Labour party collapse? Can the kingdom stay united?
A National Theatre & Chichester Festival Theatre production, This House is a political satire and, although set in 1974, it is now more relevant than ever.
Set in the engine rooms of the House of Commons, it 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, while Westminster is about to go to war with itself.
Fist-fight breakouts in the parliamentary bars, sick or dying MPs carried through the lobby to register their crucial votes and other chaotic situations develop as the government tries to hang on by a thread.
Premiered to universal acclaim at the National Theatre in 2012, This House was written by James Graham (The Vote, Privacy) and directed by Headlong Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things, Wolf Hall).
It gives us a timely, moving and often amusing insight into the workings of British politics. Starring Phil Daniels (Bob Mellish), Kevin Doyle (Michael Cocks) and David Hounslow (Joe Harper).
Absolutely fantastic play for anyone who has even the slightest interest in how our country gets run. What I really enjoyed about this was the way both sides are given fair treatment - essentially decent people trying to make the best of an antiquated system of government. Tremendous entertainment.
Funny, lots of great one liners!
Wonderful afternoon. Thank you
The diction in the first half was very poor making following the play very difficult. The subject was also a difficult one as identifying most of the MPs depended on detailed knowledge of the events of the time. The second half was clearer but the overall result was disappointing. We booked tickets based on the Times review and in my husband's words we felt 'conned'.
It is the second time I've seen This House and it is brilliant. Good script, funny and generally fun. Only really for adults.
Dramatic reconstruction of dramatic events in Parliament in the 70s. Very interesting to see behind the scenes of some of the news remembered from that time. Interesting use of music and dramatic representation. Well worth seeing!
Bit like a 1970's FA cup final, good at the time but 40 years later not quite the same when you know the result.
I was so very lucky to see the last matinee and the second to last performance of this wonderful play - a politics lesson with references to the speedy Austin allegro and the fashionable saveloy sausage.
The cut and thrust of the Whips' Office in Parliament was brought to life in a way that showed how much it depended, and may still depend, on a clubbish old boys' network where tradition and arcane rules were the way to get things done. The programme notes provided a welcome briefing about aspects of what was going on within the play but we did not always follow which politician was being portrayed on stage. However that only added to our interest after the event when we looked different names up and read the programme through more carefully. For once a programme represented good value for money.
This is a fantastic show which gives a great interpretation of what happened all those years ago. Excellent acting - excellent script
This House was even better for seeing twice. What a theatrical achievement - a very clever and entertaining play superbly acted. This is a difficult and complicated subject but the production takes us through the action at a fast & furious pace while making it understandable and extremely entertaining. Who would have thought that the Whips and their games could provide such a hilarious evening.
Excellent. Dialogue entertaining and poignant. Classic.
We had a wonderful evening in the company of the 'This House' team. It's a beautiful, brutal and thoroughly engaging piece of theatre that really opens up the era and talks us through the difficulties both parties and Britain faced at the time. The characters are great, their humanity shines through and the dark arts of politics are laid bare. Highly, highly recommended.
I really enjoyed this humourous insight into the machinations of a hung parliament in the mid 1970s. The behind the scenes look at how the Whips'Offices worked was hilarious and the way the women MPs were treated made for some amusing dialogue. Well worth the visit.
Brought history to life in an entertaining way. Had the style of The National all over it. Cast were excellent.
A brilliant reconstruction of turbulent times in the engine room of Parliament. Funny, sad, human. Party loyalty prevails over conscience as much as it does today in these sad Brexit times.
A truly inspiring melange of comedy, drama, music and a little dancing. An evocation of the 1970s which rings true to me (I lived through it) and an insight into the murky world of whips and internal party politics and discipline. Phil Daniels' performance stands out in the first half but he virtually disappears after the break when other members of the excellent cast come to the fore. My main regrets are that I didn't see it when it was at the National where all the stage is visible from every seat (see below) and that I have probably left it too late to see it again as the run finishes soon.
Excellent, faultless performance! Thoroughly enjoyed every minute
A witty, absorbing and probably accurate view of life in the Westminster jungle.
Great Play, very funny and well put together.
Paced fun and satire.
It was the writing that made a different. I had two VERY RUDE theatergoers sitting in front of me and made it VERY difficult to following what was going on stage. I leaned back and listened and I understood the plot! Not even the dialects were confusing...in facts they enhanced the political turmoil. This play although 40 years old is relevant for what is going on now in Europe and America. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring this play to NYC!!!!!
The play gave me a real flavour of the Whips' offices. It was fast, furious and pacy and the acting was tremendous. It gave an evocative feeling of the period and gave me more insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the Commons.
A fabulous production and performances. Clear, gritty, witty and sad cameo of the way parliament works. Really captured the febrile mood of an era that was to become the precursor of our current confusion. (Such a shame that the production has to compete with the rumble of the Underground). Alan Simpson, recovering politician.
I absolutely loved the humor, wit and seat-of-your pants pure drama this play unraveled over the course of an evening. It exposed the eccentricities and frailties of our government in a way I've never seen in any news article and it will leave me thinking for a long time. A true testament to British writing and theatre.
Brilliant show, funny well acted show.
A brilliant bit or script writing coupled with stupendous performances made this fabulous entertainment.
Excellent production, engrossing and imaginative. Brought back memories of the politics of Wilson, Callaghan, Heath, the Winter of Discontent and the conditions which saw Thatcher rise to power.
It was truly brilliant and everyone was great in it.
Recaptured the time and the realities of the Whip operation. The play had momentum, humour and sadness. Well worth seeing - it resonates with today's politics.
Great night out lots of laughs energetic performance. Terrific.
This House is, at its best, a riotuous, wry look at the hysterical idiosyncracies of British politics. And in this particular area it excels, the laughs are frequent, the humour audible and the political tension palpable as attempts to govern under the Callaghan administration spiral out of control. Often the disconnect and fast pacing serves to highlight this downwards plunge, but at times it can also seem cacophonous and overwhelming. The number of MPs mentioned off-handedly may be both an honest reflection of the state of parliament and its actions, but it can also detract from the emotional impact as the play draws towards a crescendo. Nonetheless, the main cast carry the fast paced deluge of dialogue with aplomb (some dodgy regional accents notwithstanding), with the purring sneers of Conservative whips Nathaniel Parker and Malcom Sinclair perfectly offset by their Labour counterparts Steffan Rhodri and Kevin Doyle. In all, it's not the smoothest political satire, but then the politics of 1974-79 were hardly the smoothest either, and it shows that with a droll panache.
The performance was pedestrian, lacking in pace and dynamic narrative. The actors said their predictable and repetitive line solidly by as if they were going through the motions. No gripping drama. No dynamism. Very didactic in a simplistic manner. These actors needed a better script and better director. Cardboard characterisations were no substitute for real depth. A wasted evening.
Absolutely loved it and so did my teenage sons!
A great night out - as relevant today as it was in the 70s. The cast are all amazing, the acting a pure joy and if you're lucky you get the chance to go on stage during the interval and order a drink from the Commons bar. The "MPs" come out and talk to the audience during the interval and even the ushers have House of Commons waistcoats. The whole evening is immersive , funny and got the audience talking on the way out.
Wonderful production! Superb acting. Funny, heart warming and bitter sweet. Thoroughly recommended.
The performance was good fun, lively and full of humour
Very entertaining and well acted. Interesting to see the political machinations behind the scenes. Even though it's a dramatisation, all the events resonate with my recollections of what happened so well that I'm sure something like this is what was going on behind closed doors.
Never buy tickets from this company. Very high charges
A good play. But over-directed (shouting is the default method of delivery) and extremely badly staged so that if you are sitting in one of the many "obstructed view" seats you will miss great chunks of the action in terms of who is saying what -- especially if you sit on the left hand side of the auditorium. Since the majority of the action takes place here this is a serious problem. The director has made very clumsy use of the stage.
A wonderful political romp from a superb cast. Well written and very funny. My teenage children loved it. They even name-checked my favourite football team.
Saved by Nathaniel Parker and Stefan Rhodri. The trouble with a play that has been hyped as 'amazing' is that it then has its work cut out to live up to the hype and this didn't quite make it but a brave try. I have big issue with paying £10 per ticket booking fee with Box Office. Even the mighty ATG don't charge that much!
What a fabulous play. One of the best things I have seen at the theatre in a long time. Brilliant acting and a really interesting story.
Bitter, cynical, frightening, amusing, all non stop brilliant use of limited stage facilities. Fascinating. See it again!
good show, great acting, funny and pacy.
A n excellent production. Fascinating to revisit that period of recent history. Cleverly staged and totally engrossing. Loved it!
The parallels between U.K. Politics 40 years ago and today are laid out superbly in this fast moving play. I went to see the original production back in 2012 and this seems more light hearted in places. There is a window of opportunity to see this play and I strongly advise you do. It was a magical, thought provoking few hours. A lovely crowd of people too and fantastic to see all ages catered for.
I have no particular interest in politics but find it makes interesting and amusing theatre, especially as I am old enough to have lived through the period.
I really enjoyed the play -- I was laughing out loud from the first few minutes. Great, witty script, strong case, and topical subject matter.
This House moves quickly, and it certainly helps to have some knowledge of the political situation in the seventies. But it's much more than a docudrama: it makes you think about how the houses of parliament work, and how they work today. The cast work together like a polished machine, there are some superb key performances and some very moving moments. English theatre at its best.
Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0HH
No exchanges are refunds after booking.
The cast for This House includes: Phil Daniels (Bob Mellish), Kevin Doyle (Michael Cocks) and David Hounslow (Joe Harper).
2 hours 55 mins incl. interval
Good To Know
Please Note : If you select Post as delivery method the tickets will not be sent out until two weeks before the performance.
Suitable For Children
Age Recommendation: 14+
When Can I Go
19 November 2016 – 25 February 2017
Where Do I Go
Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH
By Tube- Leicester Square or Charing Cross
By Train- Charing Cross
By Bus-3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 24, 29, 30