James Graham's This House, which is being revived as part of this summer's Chichester Festival Theatre, as previously announced here, is to finally transfer to the West End, four years after premiering at the National in 2012.
Helmed again by its original director, Jeremy Herrin, it played first in the Cottesloe, then transferred to the Olivier Theatre. It was hotly tipped to have had a transfer lined up for the Aldwych Theatre, but was trumped by the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's short-lived Stephen Ward, which booked the theatre instead.
Following its Chichester run, from September 23-October 29, it will move to the Garrick, beginning performances November 19 prior to an official opening November 30.
The play is set in 1974, a time when the U.K. faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it's a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote. Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, the play strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
Playwright James Graham is currently represented on Broadway by Finding Neverland, for which he wrote the book and who will this summer be represented by the transfer of the Donmar Warehouse production of Privacy to the Public. In a statement, he commented, “This House was a very surprising and completely remarkable experience for me when produced at the National three years ago. The idea that it's going to find new audiences again is really brilliant and I'm so grateful. We're no longer in a hung parliament—like the 1970s equivalent depicted in the play - but in some ways I think it's become more relevant as more of us are deeply questioning the effectiveness and viability of our current political systems, here and around the world.”
Director Jeremy Herrin, who recently directed Noises Off for Roundabout and was previously represented on Broadway by the transfer of Wolf Hall, adds, "A play that looks at our democracy is always going to be timely, and there's a joyful theatricality in the way This House represents our parliamentary process, with all its ludicrous quirks. The human drama in the middle of this system is represented movingly and with great generosity. There has always been such good will around this show, so it's brilliant we can share it with more people at The Garrick, an appropriate stone's throw from the House of Commons."
Nica Burns, Caro Newling for Neal Street Productions, Headlong, in association with Jonathan Church Productions and Gavin Kalin are presenting the National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre production in the West End. It is designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Paul Constable, sound by Ian Dickinson and choreography by Scott Ambler.
To book tickets, which are on sale through February 25, 2017, contact the box office on 0330 333 4811 or visit nimaxtheatres.com.