Rehearsals began this week for James Graham’s critically acclaimed and prescient political drama examining the 1974 hung parliament This House. Designed by Rae Smith (The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, Barber Shop Chronicles, West Yorkshire Playhouse), This House opens at West Yorkshire Playhouse on 23 February (National Press Night 28 February).
Taking on a new importance in the current political climate This House rolls back to 1974, with the corridors of Westminster ringing 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, 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.
Playing a colourful host of MP’s and Whips is Ian Barritt (The Alchemist, National Theatre), William Chubb (King Lear, Old Vic), Giles Cooper (Henry V, Shakespeare’s Globe), Stephen Critchlow (Loyalty, Hampstead Theatre), James Gaddas (Billy Elliot, Palace Theatre), Natalie Grady (Brassed Off, Oldham Coliseum), Marcus Hutton (Private Lives, Nottingham Playhouse), Harry Kershaw (The Play That Goes Wrong, West End), Louise Ludgate (Iron, Traverse / Royal Court), Geoffrey Lumb (Paddington 2), Nicholas Lumley (Kiss Me Kate, RSC), Martin Marquez (Mother Courage and her Children, National Theatre), Miles Richardson (The Contractor, Birmingham Rep) and Charlotte Worthing (These Trees Are Made Of Blood, Arcola Theatre and Southwark Playhouse).
Returning to the cast are David Hounslow ((the fall of) The Master Builder, West Yorkshire Playhouse), Ian Houghton (War Horse, New London Theatre), Matthew Pidgeon (Salome, RSC), Tony Turner (Ink, Almeida/West End) and Orlando Wells (The Woman in Black, Fortune Theatre), who previously featured in the West End production of This House.
Directed by Jeremy Herrin with Jonathan O’Boyle, the production has 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.