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The Best Man

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About the Show Less...

Martin Shaw leads a star-studded cast in the West End premiere of Gore Vidal’s sharp political drama The Best Man. Read More >

Martin Shaw leads a star-studded cast in the West End premiere of Gore Vidal’s sharp political drama The Best Man.

Two opposing presidential party candidates are neck and neck in an unscrupulous battle for the nomination: William Russell (Shaw), ex-Secretary of State, and his ambitious populist opponent Joseph Cantwell (Jeff Fahey). The only thing that separates them is an endorsement from a respected ex-President.

But as the race heats up the campaign gets personal, where does compromise end and corruption begin? And who in the end will be proved to be ‘the best man’?

One of the UK’s best loved actors, Shaw is perhaps best known for his TV roles in Judge John Deed, Inspector George Gently and The Professionals. He returns to the stage after his West End triumphs which include An Ideal Husband, Twelve Angry Men, Are You Lonesome Tonight? and A Man for All Seasons.

Jeff Fahey, American star of TV series Lost, co-stars in The Best Man alongside one of Britain’s finest and best loved film, TV and theatre actresses Maureen Lipman.

Written and produced on Broadway nearly 60 years ago, long before the battles of Trump vs Clinton and May vs Corbyn, The Best Man never achieved a West End transfer at the time because it was thought that American politics were of no real interest to London audiences.

But now, in an era of titanic political tussles, The Best Man aims to hold up a mirror to the often surprising results of campaigning, and the all-too-often unscrupulous world of politics.


Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 24/02/2018

Opening Night: 05/03/2018

Closing Night: 26/05/2018

Running time: 2h30, inc. interval

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

Cast & Creative


William Russell - Martin Shaw

Joseph Cantwell - Jeff Fahey

Ex-President Hockstader - Jack Shepherd

Mrs Gamadge - Maureen Lipman

Alice Russell - Glynis Barber

Mabel Cantwell - Honeysuckle Weeks

Dick Jenson - Philip Cumbus

Catherine - Emma Campbell-Jones

Don Blades - Jim Creighton

Delegate - Peter Prentice

Dr Artinian - Lynden Edwards

Senator Carlin - Craig Pinder

Sheldon Marcus - David Tarkenter



Director - Simon Evans

Producer - Bill Kenwright

Costume - Michael Taylor

Lighting Designer - Chris Davey

Set Designer - Michael Taylor

Sound - Ed Lewis

Music By - Ed Lewis

About Playhouse Theatre

Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5DE

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