Review: A New Play For The General Election, Finborough Theatre

“That looks like George Osborne…”

Well you certainly can’t fault Chris New for finding a new angle amidst the glut of election-themed political theatre that can be found from the Donmar to Theatre Delicatessen. And there’s something fascinating in reading about the way in which A New Play For The General Election was devised over a four week period by New and his cast of four, using guided improvisation to get to a predetermined end point, a brutal “final destination” that spits with real menace.

The forty-five minutes leading up to that point don’t always kick with the same force though. Its intentions are clear as the disturbed Danny drags his abducted victim into an abandoned warehouse and commences an obtuse line of questioning which reveals that in fact, this really is George Osborne. Two more people then arrive – the equally troubled Maggie and her tolerant partner Richard – throwing an already turbulent situation into more turmoil.

Nothing solid really emerges from all this work though, it is aiming to be political with a small p but is ultimately so oblique that it gains little purchase on Kate Unwin’s set. Alexandra-Faye Braithwaite’s rumbling soundscape does more to generate an ominous atmosphere than the writing and Jumaane Brown’s Danny and Charlie Hollway’s George, or should it be Gideon, work vividly and hard to anchor the potential of the show’s premise even if it doesn’t quite deliver in the end. 

Running time: 45 minutes (without interval)
Booking until 12th May

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