Writers: Robert Khan &Tom Salinksky
Director: Hannah Eidnow
Reviewer: Joanna Trainor
“A teddy bear mixed with a serial killer.” Last week we learnt that Boris Johnson wants to stand as an MP, a helpful marketing tool for Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky’s new play Kingmaker. This one hour piece intelligently questions how detrimental it would be to have a bumbling brute in charge of the country.
After the Prime Minister resigns and only two candidates remain, a secret meeting is called where the future is all but decided.
Alan Cox’s Max Newman is a frightening mix of Toad of Toad Hall and calculated politician. Behind his fumbling, media friendly persona, his previous and current exploits as a bully and manipulator are exposed. It’s difficult to know how to feel about Newman. The charm that means his public forgive him for having affairs and falling over at the cenotaph, works on the audience, but with his skeletons pulled out of the closet and his self-entitlement on display you cannot like him. Salinsky and Khan have created the perfect politician.
In general the writing in Kingmaker is exceptionally clever. The constant changing of power around the room is so intensely watchable. From all the cards in their hand to it being suggested they resign in the space of an hour is brilliant theatre. The enormous change around in such a short space of time ends up seeming like the only logical conclusion with the mix of impressive writing and directing.
Kingmaker is a worryingly accurate representation of the political system. Though shocking, it all seems like it could easily happen, and with Boris Johnson running as an MP all the more scary.
Runs until 25th August