The latest production at The Pleasance Theatre is set in 2015 and explores the subterfuge behind the last months of the coalition. The play, written by Tom Salinsky and politician Robert Kwan, follows the final days of the Lib Dem leadership of Matt Cooper, played by Thom Tuck.
Matt Cooper, is a character, who at first we sympathize with, but soon realize that this emotion may be misplaced. Perhaps, the character we perceive as a potential good guy isn’t after all? This message, that appearances can be deceptive, is the case for the majority of roles in this play, and is probably the underlying message carried through in Coalition and most political satire. It is, perhaps a message that collective audiences will never tire of. The play follows the political tug of war that takes place in every parliament and is accentuated in a coalition government. Will Matt Cooper succeed in becoming equal to the Prime Minister or is he fighting a losing battle with the Conservatives?
…the right amount of slime and flamboyance…
It’s always slightly concerning when someone famous is in the play but doesn’t occupy the lead role, sometimes the rest of the performances don’t quite stand up, when the actor is not on the stage. In Coalition, this is not the case. Phil Jupitus plays Sir Francis Whitford a member of the conservatives and combines the right amount of slime and flamboyance. Jupitus’ character however regularly leaves the stage, but his absence does not leave a gap; a testament to the acting prowess of the rest of the cast. Jupitus is a joy in this role, and his character has a series of jokes running through the play.
The characters in Coalition possess the amount of nauseating confidence and loose morals we possibly suspect our real politicians hold. Coalition is hilarious. It’s always a good sign when you can’t hear the next line over the laughter, but there are real poignant moments that catch the audience by surprise.
Coalition and other forms of political satire, are thoroughly enjoyable ways of checking the real politicians and tackling the issues that currently surround politics.
Coalition is on at The Pleasance Theatre until the 10 March