Alan Cox’s Kingmaker makes another run for political office

Kingmaker. Image by Idil Sukan.
Kingmaker. Image by Idil Sukan.

You can tell that there’s an election coming up. The theatres are now filling with politically themed plays that enourage your leanings to the right or left (though UKIP seems to have escaped – so far..)

One of my favourites is returning to London. Kingmaker, a story about a bumbling, charismatic London mayor who attempts to become Prime Minister (ooh, now who could that be?), was a huge hit at the 2014 Ed Fringe and has already made one foray into the capital.

It now plays at Above The Arts Theatre, London from May 4-23 before moving to the seaside for the Brighton Fringe and The Marlborough Theatre from May 25-27.

The writers of previous Edinburgh Fringe hits Coalition and Making News, and the multi-award winning director of Instinct For Kindness and Lockerbie – Unfinished Business, have teamed up to present a satirical tale of political intrigue, gamesmanship and ambition in the corridors of power.

Alan Cox is directed by Hannah Eidinow in Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky’s story of a fictional yet strangely familiar political figure whose bumbling bonhomie disguises a fierce determination and a heart of steel.

The subject matter of this biting satire is expected to be brought into sharp focus in the last few days of campaigning for the general election and the inevitable political frenzy that follows during the mad month of May.

Former Mayor of London Max Newman is a seasoned politician, scruffy, energetic, seemingly chaotic immensely charming and very
ambitious.

As the top job becomes vacant, Max knows his time may well have come. He needs to make his move but he also needs someone to stand against so it doesn’t appear to be a shoo-in.

Into the frame comes Dan Regan. Young and impressive, he has risen through the ranks very quickly but, some may say, he is a little naïve?

And then there is Eleanor Hopkirk, a seasoned Tory Whip who sees straight into Max’s soul and will do everything to stand in his way.

Is Dan a dupe, a decoy or Max Newman’s nemesis, can Eleanor do anything to stop the former Mayor and will Max’s comic and colourful past return to destroy him?

Set in a stuffy office in the House of Commons in a time quite close to the present, Kingmaker takes a sly satirical look at the ruthless game of politics and reveals a man behind a myth and a myth behind a man.

Alan Cox (Max Newman) theatre work includes seasons at the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Chichester Festival Theatre.

He made his West End debut in Strange Interlude, and recent appearances include The Creeper and The Importance of Being Earnest.

His film credits include The Dictator, Contagion, August, The Auteur Theory, Mrs. Dalloway, An Awfully Big Adventure and Young Sherlock Holmes.

A long list of television credits include starring opposite Laurence Olivier in John Mortimer’s A Voyage Round My Father in 1982 and as Alan Bennett in the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore dramatisation Not Only But Always.

Eleanor Hopkirk is played by Joanna Bending and Dan Regan by Laurence Dobiesz.

Watch a preview from the Edinburgh Fringe performance:

Kingmaker – trailer from The Spontaneity Shop on Vimeo.

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