Britain celebrates victory over Hitler and cheer Winston Churchill.
But things have changed. The poor don’t want to go back to the way things were.
They remember the thirties. It was a time of poverty, unemployment, starvation, in the midst of ostentatious wealth.
They don’t want that again.
The men and women who fought the war want a better world. They want the rich to pay a bit more, so the poor can suffer a bit less.
They want a national health service. Pay when they’re unemployed, so their families don’t starve. Education for everyone, so that no one grows up unable to read or write.
They want the Labour Party to deliver it.
But Labour is led by a nonentity – “a modest little man with plenty to be modest about.” He says almost nothing. He sits in his grey suit and puffs his pipe.
One wit remarked: “An empty taxi drew up and Clement Attlee got out.”
No charisma, no revolutionary passion.
Even if, by some miracle, he wins an election against the great Winston Churchill, this grey little man can’t make a revolution.
There’s no hope. There’s nothing in him.
No one is better qualified to write a play about Clem Attlee than author, journalist and playwright Francis Beckett, who wrote a widely acclaimed biography of Attlee, recently reissued for the fourth time. ("The triumph of this work is the author's success in passing on his love for Attlee" - Sion Simon, Spectator. "Beckett gets near to the essence of Attlee, and does so in an easy, flowing narrative" - Roy Jenkins, Independent. “A formidable work of scholarship, draws out the many facets, including the real subtlety, of his character” – John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons. “An engrossing personal biography of Attlee” – History Today. “Reveals the inner most man who is recognised by historians to be Britain’s greatest peacetime Prime Minister” – Neil Kinnock. “By illuminating how he accomplished his gargantuan task, Francis Beckett’s book finally gives the ‘little fellow’ his due. He has written a book that carefully delves into Attlee’s upper middle class but loving and open-minded family background.’ – Dennis Skinner MP.)
Francis Beckett’s latest book is “Jeremy Corbyn and the Strange Rebirth of Labour England” (Biteback, September 2018.
This is his sixth play. The first, “The Sons of Catholic Gentlemen”, was broadcast on LBC and won the Independent Radio Drama Productions annual award. Four more had London fringe productions and two of them are published by Samuel French.
Tuesday 15th January at 7:30pm
Wednesday 16th January at 7:30pm
Thursday 17th January at 7:30pm
Friday 18th January at 7:30pm
Saturday 19th January at 7:30pm
Tuesday 22nd January at 7:30pm
Wednesday 23rd January at 7:30pm
Thursday 24th January at 7:30pm
Friday 25th January at 7:30pm
Saturday 26th January at 7:30pm
Tickets: £12 | Concessions: £10
Running time: 75mins
Latecomers may not be admitted. Ticket purchases are non refundable. Concession prices apply to students; under 18s; pensioners; those on disability and unemployment benefits; Equity, BECTU & SDUK members; Portico Places cardholders. As a young venue we are still upgrading and developing the space, any additional donations are much appreciated and will be used towards improving the theatre even further and keeping the venue going in the long-term.
The Bread & Roses Theatre
68 Clapham Manor Street, Clapham SW4 6DZ, London
Ticket purchases are non refundable. Concession prices apply to students; under 18s; pensioners; those on disability and unemployment benefits; Equity, BECTU & SDUK members; Portico Places cardholders. As a young venue we are still upgrading and developing the space, any additional donations are much appreciated and will be used towards improving the theatre even further and keeping the venue going in the long-term.