Political Dramas Together In Rare Double-Header

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 23 months ago

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Political Dramas Together In Rare Double-Header
Kyoto at Jermyn Street Theatre
Jananne Rahman as Lucy and Simon Roberts as Dan in Kyoto, by David Greig.

With Parliament having just approved to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system and politics very much in the forefront of people's consciousness, there's a timely look at two very topical issues at Jermyn Street Theatre.

For the first time in London, two plays by award-winning playwright, David Greig, will be staged, tackling the thorny topics of nuclear war and climate change.

Kyoto was written for David MacLennan’s lunchtime play series A Play, A Pie and A Pint and first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 2009.

Some 20 years after Kyoto and endless conferences about the world's environmental challenges, this one-act play takes a wry look through the eyes of two long-standing combatants as they grapple with dilemmas and a dress in a dowdy hotel room in a post-communist country.

Letter of Last Resort at Jermyn Street Theatre
Lisa Day as the prime minister and Robert Gordon Clark as John, in Letter of Last Resort.

The second play is particularly relevant, coming just days after the Trident vote.

In The Letter of Last Resort, Lisa Day plays the new prime minister, who's working when she is interrupted by a civil servant (played by Robert Gordon Clark). He has a request – a letter needs to be written. It's a letter of last resort: a handwritten note penned by every British prime minister to the country's ballistic missile submarines containing orders on what action to take should the government be killed or incapacitated.

David Greig, a self-declared "lefty", said of the play: "I can’t write this until there's a moment when I believe nuclear weapons are a good thing, until I have that moment then there's nothing for me to say. So I had to reach a point where there is genuinely a part of me that said 'this is interesting' and the point was when I realised soldiers don't like nuclear weapons, soldiers like to fight."

The double bill runs from 2-13 August at Jermyn Street Theatre, with evening performances at 7.30pm and two matinees at 3.30pm on 6 and 13 August. For more information, or to book tickets (£25, concs £20) visit the website.

Last Updated 22 July 2016