This 75-minute monologue is a reflective commentary about Tony Benn with lots of clever word play and funny tales, spanning over the many decades of his career. The very charming Philip Bretherton is perfectly cast in this role and steps into the shoes of Tony beautifully towards the end of his life. Andy Barrett's task as writer was perhaps not an easy one; how to condense Benn's extensive career into an hour and a fifteen minute show. Benn was a Member of Parliament for 47 years as well as being a Cabinet minister in the Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the 1960s and 1970s. There are plenty of highlights to choose along the way, however Barrett has produced a varied, rich and engaging piece of writing.
Whether you have a personal interest in the live of Tony Benn, politics in general or none at all, this show carries its own in terms of entertainment. Barrett's script is scattered with lovely stories of Benn meeting many rich and colourful characters over his career and Bretherton's performance is very engaging to watch, his mannerisms, speech and spirit of Benn are perfectly captured.
A good production by Nottingham Playhouse with plenty to engage the audience, Bretherton's portrayal of Benn is something to see and reflects very well on a piece of political history that is still very relevant today.