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Review: A Walk On Part – The Fall of New Labour, Live Theatre

A PLAY based on the diaries of an ex-Sunderland MP doesn’t seem the most obvious crowd-pleaser.

A PLAY based on the diaries of an ex-Sunderland MP doesn’t seem the most obvious crowd-pleaser.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, like most political memoirs, it would be filled with narcissistic explanations of great accomplishment and blatant blaming of others for things that went wrong.

But this, based on the diaries of Chris Mullin, is anything but.

Back for a second run at the theatre, this new version – which includes scenes from Mullin’s latest diary – chronicles the entire life of New Labour.

From the death of John Smith, to the euphoric rise in 1997, to the dismal defeat in 2010, it tackles the success and failure of the Government in a fast-paced piece of comedy theatre.

John Hodgkinson is convincing as Mullin; if at times, a morally superior character, he comes off as a man genuinely following the path he thinks is right, even if it doesn’t get him anywhere.

His supporting cast is just as good, if just for the fact that between the four of them they seamlessly slip into the roles of over 100 characters.

Hywel Morgan and Jim Kitson are at their best as Tony Blair and John Prescott respectively. Each catches the voice and mannerisms of their subjects with ease.

If you’re a die-hard politico watcher, the appeal of this play is obvious. If you’re not, the fast- paced scenes and comedy timing of the entire cast will more than make your evening worthwhile.

:: Sunday’s 4pm performance is pay-what-you-can, with tickets on sale at noon tomorrow.

 

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