Written by Dennis Potter Directed by Alexander Parsonage
A Labour government has won power after more than a decade of Tory rule, yet initial optimism evaporates as they are accused of being more interested in winning votes than standing up for their ideals. There is outrage as the PM refuses to condemn an illegal American occupation. Meanwhile, the government is pandering to tabloid scare stories of ‘floods’ of immigrants with the promise of stricter legislation and monitoring. Yet the only things that the opposition seems interested in defending are outdated traditions and fox-hunting. The year is 1965.
Forty yeards after its original screening on the BBC, Dennis Potter’s hugely influential work Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton is being adapted for the stage by the exciting new company FINGER IN THE PIE (‘powerful and inventive’ – Three Weeks).
The local Tory MP has died in a foxhunting accident, and with a bi-election looming, what’s a well- meaning, politically active left-winger with marriage problems to do but stand for the post?
But ideals and elections are not happy bedfellows, and Nigel Barton is caught between a nagging wife who ‘thought your Socialism meant more to you than wanting to be a Labour candidate’ and a Machiavellian political agent desperate to turn Nigel into ‘the sort of bloke I’d never buy a second-hand car from’. As he begins to realise that people would rather stay at home and watch the wrestling than bother thinking about honest politics, Nigel’s world is spun into a fine web of lies and empty promises, until one day he has had enough…
As deliciously funny as poisonous satire should be, this was the play that established Potter’s reputation as one of the most important writers of his generation, and that changed television forever.
Alexander Parsonage, the show’s director, said: ‘Given the current political climate, Potter’s work is arguably more relevant now than at any time in its forty year existence, and with FINGER IN THE PIE’s trademark injection of riotous physicality and pythonesque caricature, we hope to bring Potter to a new audience at this wonderfully intimate venue’.
With a strictly limited run at the renowned London fringe venue Upstairs at the Gatehouse, slap bang in the middle of the New Labour heartland, Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton promises to be one of the most topical, original and funny productions on the London fringe this year.
Upstairs at The Gatehouse 8:00pm (1hr 15mins) 4 – 8 October 2005 Mon-Fri: £10 / £8 (concs) Sat: £12 / £10 (concs)
Box Office: 020 8340 3488