From Peter Mannion to Roy Jenkins

The man who made us all howl with laughter in The Thick of It as Minister Peter Mannion, Roger Allam, has been cast as a real life politician. He will play Roy Jenkins in a forthcoming play about the decision by the Gang of Four Jenkins, Bill Rodgers, Shirley Williams and David Owen, to leave Labour and form the SDP. They issued the Limehouse Declaration in January 1981.

From London Theatre :

The new play is written by Steve Waters, directed by Polly Findlay, and tells a story from our political history that speaks to our political present and imagines what happened behind closed doors during a pivotal moment in history – the formation of the SDP, which split the Labour party in 1981.

“A divisive left-wing leader at the helm of the Labour party. A Conservative prime minister battling with her cabinet. An identity crisis on a national scale. This is Britain 1981. One Sunday morning, four prominent Labour politicians – Bill Rodgers, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and David Owen – gather in private at Owen’s home in Limehouse, east London. They are desperate to find a political alternative. Should they split their party, divide their loyalties, and risk betraying everything they believe in? Would they be starting afresh, or destroying forever the tradition that nurtured them?”

The production will run from 2 March to 15 April 2017 with an official opening on 8 March 2017. It features designs by Alex Eales, lighting by Jon Clark, sound design by Emma Laxton and music by Rupert Cross.

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