Monday, 23 April 2018

Darkness in the garden of Gethsemane

EVEN the good times are bad if you’re a politician, writes Mike Rowbottom. You sort out one set of problems...

EVEN the good times are bad if you’re a politician, writes Mike Rowbottom. You sort out one set of problems — at least in the short term — so someone invents a new set to keep you off-balance. But David Hare’s merciless dissection of our democratically-elected rulers suggests that it’s no less than they deserve. Sinodun Players present Gethsemane, his take on the Labour years under Tony Blair, at the Corn Exchange in Wallingford from April 10 to 13.

The economy is booming and people are employed. What could possibly go wrong? A personal scandal, that’s what.

The plot centres on a home secretary so obsessed with her own success that her daughter goes off the rails.

“The attempts to cover it up, then spin the crisis show up these characters,” says director Graham Fyffe.

“Every one of these major players has some kind of defect which pushes them to do things which most of us wouldn’t think of.

“A need for power, or to be loved, or to be noticed, or even all of those things; and they get in the way of their humanity.

“We have a serious political journalist involving himself with a 16-year-old girl, a self-made millionaire desperate to prove his worth by showering influence to help the party, and cynical aides more concerned with managing image than the public or even personal good.”

* Gethsemane by David Hare runs at the Corn Exchange, Wallingford from Wednesday to Saturday, April 10 to 13. Box office (01491) 825000 or visit www.cornexchange.org.uk

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