Edward Hall will direct Maxine Peake in the world premiere of Loyalty, a unique political drama written by the award-winning journalist Sarah Helm, at Hampstead theatre.
Loyalty is Helm’s debut play and draws on both her experiences as a political and foreign correspondent and her husband’s time as Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff. Centred on the Iraq War, Loyalty is a fictionalised memoir about what it is like to share a husband with the Prime Minister at key moments in the crisis.
When politics invade the family home, rows about weapons of mass destruction break out at a children’s birthday party and the couple listen in to phone calls with George Bush. When shocking revelations about British intelligence finally emerge over dinner at Number 10, disturbing questions are raised as to how a country can be seduced into war.
Helm, who was a founding member of The Independent and wrote for The Sunday Times, uses her unique vantage point to recreate intimate details of how life and death political decisions are made.
Leading the as yet unannounced full cast, Peake will make her return to the stage after a run of high profile television roles. Currently starring in the BBC drama Silk, Peake has starred in Shameless, Red Riding, Dinnerladies and portrayed Myra Hindley in Channel 4’s See No Evil. On stage the actress has appeared in The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre, Leaves Of Glass at the Soho theatre, Miss Julie at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and The Third Day at the Ambassadors.