Will real-life events continue to overtake the writing of Michael McManus’ frighteningly timely new political play? The subject matter certainly seems to capture so many of my own fears, frustrations and recent experiences as a grass-roots political activist yearning for a return to sanity. I can’t wait to chair this event!
“Brexit? Never mind Brexit. What if the Brexit vote, UKIP, even the BNP and the EDL – what if all that was just the beginning?”
In An Honourable Man, Joe Newman is the mainstream Labour MP for a traditional, working-class constituency in the North of England – until Momentum try to oust him. Unwittingly, they unleash a tide that could destroy not only Labour and the Conservatives – but also every assumption anyone has ever made about what is acceptable in the mainstream of British politics.
The script has been revised and updated to keep pace with current events and the fast-changing political landscape and after feedback – from the likes of Polly Toynbee, Matthew Parris, Kenneth Clarke and House of Cards author Michael Dobbs – following a sold-out workshop in June.
The premiere production stars Timothy Harker as Joe Newman, alongside Lisa Bowerman, Max Keeble, Thomas Mahy, Dee Sadler and Annie Tyson, all reprising their roles from the summer showcase.
Michael McManus is an author, political adviser and journalist. His most recent book, Edward Heath: A Singular Life (Elliott & Thompson, 2016), was widely praised and featured as Book of the Week in the Daily Mail. His other books include biographies of the one-time Liberal leader Jo Grimond and the actor Nicholas Courtney; and a history of the Conservative Party and LGBT rights. He is also co-writer of Tainted, the new musical featuring the songs of Marc Almond and Soft Cell.
Commenting on An Honourable Man, McManus said:
“When I first drafted this play in 2015, it seemed far-fetched to many people. Labour MPs being deselected in the near future? The rise of populism? Cult of personality? Here? In Britain? Now my actors, my director and I are all running hard, just to keep ahead of reality.”
For the post-show discussion on Wednesday 21 November 2018, I’ll be joined by author Michael McManus… and a special political guest from the heart of Westminster.