Macblair/The King’s Head/24.10.17
There wasn’t much that could go wrong really. There was a fire going in one of my favourite venues, the King’s Head, and I was about to sit down for the evening and be entertained by a play that focused on personality and politics during a period of recent history that a brave few are beginning to unpick artistically.
Interwoven with exceptional references to various Shakespeare plays and purely brilliant raps (sometimes at the same time) Macblair navigates Tony Blair’s premiership from the moment he became leader in 1994 to it’s sudden and dramatic demise in 2007 and doesn’t shy away from everything in between, including his interactions with Bush and Campbell (acting as his Lady Macbeth at times) over his legacy, Ireland and Iraq, that patterned his demise in a tragic curve surprisingly similar to that of the Scottish King.
Careful to not to fall heavily on either side of the lines it was clear to me talking to the playwright that with the cast (and in turn his peers) having grown up under the Blair rule that there was a sense of balance, of a great man who made wrong decisions, a natural leader that didn’t have the political know how to make the right call, but he isn’t the first to do this, and as the play hints at in the end with the witches/journalists discussing Trump, he’s by no mean the last.
A small but extremely talented cast of four, pulled off an accomplished array of various characters without drastic costume changes, very little in the way of props and set and as much lighting and sound as can be expected from a black box space at the back of a pub.
Overall it was the perfect show to get me back on the horse of seeing theatre again after a few weeks locked up trying to work out a script of my own. Many thanks to Olivia Chappell for inviting me to see the show, and we wish the cast the best of luck taking the show forward after their run at the King’s Head (until 28th October).