Wednesday, 19 June 2013
The leader will see you now
The play is previewing in London before opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, where I predict it will be a surefire hit.
So, no review here, save to say that say that Ian Grieve is the very embodiment of the former Prime Minister in the one man show. His opening night, in his first major stage role in 17 years, was a tour de force.
“It was terrifying going on, because the audience was full of people who know him. But when they started laughing in recognition I began to relax,” Grieve told me afterwards.
Grieve, 47, doesn’t just look the part, he’s getting under the skin of the former Labour leader too.
“Being Gordon Brown is quite comfortable. I come from a similar background, Perth isn't that far from Kircaldy and I think I get him.
"At heart, Gordon Brown wants to make a difference, he has a strong moral spine and I hang onto that as I play him.”
The play is not a biography of Brown by any means, it is more an examination by Toolis of leadership through the character of a politician who spent a lifetime seeking power and was then frozen in its grasp.