Review: A Walk On Part, Soho Theatre

“It’s fashionable to believe that all politicians are useless”

On paper, the theatricalisation of a set of political diaries from a former Labour backbencher featuring a veritable multitude of characters from the corridors of power ought not to have worked. But the 13 years covered by A Walk On Part document the journey of New Labour from fresh-faced idealists to brow-beaten petty squabblers and our chronicler, Chris Mullin, is an insightful, frank and often brutally honest narrator who offers an illuminating view from the insider perspective of life as a working politician.

A fiercely independent mind, Mullin served as the MP for Sunderland South and skirted around the edges of power in a number of junior ministerial positions, even occupying the post of Africa minister at one point, despite being a vocal objector to the war in Iraq. But being so frequently ‘off-message’ with the powers-that-be meant his journey in Westminster was one of ups and downs. We get a taste of life too as a constituency MP in an area of the country decimated by the decline of the manufacturing industry and haunted by the endless queues of asylum-seeker cases as well as snapshots of his personal life and the impact of his career on his family. Continue reading “Review: A Walk On Part, Soho Theatre”