Having completed a successful run in the West End, Richard Wilson is ready to ‘whip up’ the Richmond in Steve Thompson’s timely political satire.
The play is set in the precarious early days of a future David Cameron government, which clings on to a tiny majority of three. A week before Christmas, a seemingly straightforward piece of legislation suddenly takes on absurd political significance and, with the PM chummying up to the President in Washington, every trick is needed to keep the strays in line, particularly when there’s already the whiff of a leadership challenge in the air.
Battle-weary veterans of the game, the Chief Whip and smooth-talking Deputy Alastair, are given the chance to pass on the mysteries of their Machiavellian craft to sharp-suited new boy Tim, whose chosen weapons are rather more brutal than the delicate ‘threat of a threat’ employed by the old guard. They’re in for a long night, with boy scouts and ramblers threatening to riot in Whitehall, five Tory rebels on the loose, and both the press and the opposition rising to the scent of panic. MPs are maneuvered like chess pieces as the evening progresses, but will the Whips manage to avoid checkmate without having to reveal the secrets hidden in their closely guarded safe?