TORONTO -- It's mere coincidence that John Allen has written a play with the same name as a 1986 book by Ron Graham that charts the history of Canadian Prime Ministers in the early 1980s.
In fact, Allen's One-Eyed Kings does have to do with politics, but it's a stage script and comedy premiering at the Tarragon Extra Space from Feb. 17 to March.
The play takes a beady-eyed look through the peep hole of Canadian politics, with a senator, a powerful Liberal King-maker who is facing a Royal Commission enquiry about campaign funds and his closest crony, a master of RealPolitik from the Prime Minister's Office. There's also the Senator's executive assistant and fiancee, who orchestrates the local party organization while keeping her eye on goals higher up, as well as the Senator's son who was brought into the party as a scrutineer by his father when he was only 11.
When the Senator advises his son "you keep your enemies close, boy, and I guarantee, you'll have friends for life," one can't help wishing that dear old Bill Clinton had had some similar sage advice from daddy way back.
Playwright John Allen comes at this script with experience as a reporter, news reader and media critic on both radio and television, so the plot complications should ring true. One-Eyed Kings, Tarragon Extra Space, Feb. 17 to Mar. 22. Call 416-531-1827 for tickets.
-- By Mira Friedlander