The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
What fun Gore Vidal must have had when was writing this play, now presented in a timely and thought-provoking revival.
The production is full to the brim with red-blooded acting, but three performances truly stand out. The first is of Jack Shepherd, playing a former President with a lorry-load of influence and clout, and who is horrified to observe that one of the candidates who he might endorse does have a little honour and integrity. The second comes from Martin Shaw, as that man, someone who has made mistakes, and had problems, but who is fundamentally honest. And the third is Jeff Fahey as the blustering bullfrog Senator who is determined to get into the White House. His very presence breathes melodrama – this is a performance of sheer vitality, and if I observe that it is Trump-like, you will get the picture instantly.
It’s a big cast, and none of them put a foot wrong. Here we have a play that is over half a century old. But it is as pertinent today as when Kennedy was in the Oval Office. It’s demands attention. It holds up a mirror to political life and intrigue. And the reflection isn’t pretty.
To October 28.