The best plays to see before the general election

Take a break from the campaign trail to see one of these political shows

© Manuel Harlan

Occupational Hazards

28 April to 3 June, Hampstead Theatre

Stephen Brown's play is based on the memoirs of Rory Stewart, the politician who was tasked with the job of building a peaceful society in two provinces of Iraq. Stewart, who is the current Minister of State for International Development, is played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes who is probably best known for playing Lucozade-spitting Inbetweeners bully Mark Donovan. The play looks at Stewart's mission from September 2003, as well as the funny side of foreign occupation. It will provide a real insight into the jobs our elected politicians and diplomats do on a regular basis.

The Gabriels

23 to 27 May, Brighton Festival

Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Nelson's play tracks the lives of one family through the turbulent US election of 2016. The piece is split into three plays: Hungry, What Do Yo Expect? and Women of a Certain Age. If you head to the Brighton festival to see it, you may well see some similarities with your own family. Or it might make you glad our election period isn't quite as long as our American friends.

Eve Best (Olivia Brown) and Edward Bluemel (Michael Brown) in Love in Idleness
Eve Best (Olivia Brown) and Edward Bluemel (Michael Brown) in Love in Idleness
© Catherine Ashmore

Love in Idleness

From 11 May, Apollo Theatre

Following its run at the Menier, Terence Rattigan's play transfers to the West End in May. It's about Michael Brown who returns home from Canada, where he has been avoiding the Second World War, to find his mother Olivia (played by Eve Best) is now the mistress of cabinet minister Sir John Fletcher, played by Anthony Head. That would surely be headline news if it was unearthed during this election period. Sarah Crompton gave the show five stars in her review for WhatsOnStage, calling it "a play well-worth rediscovering".

Penny Layden and Christian Patterson
Penny Layden and Christian Patterson
© Sarah Lee

My Country; a work in progress

UK tour until 1 July

Following the UK's historic vote on Brexit, the National spoke to people of all ages across the country to gauge how Britain really felt. Written by Carol Ann Duffy, Rufus Norris directs this piece which sees Britannia call a meeting to listen to her people: Caledonia, Cymru, East Midlands, North East, Northern Ireland and the South West. Sarah Crompton called it "compassionate, funny and insightful" when she reviewed it for WhatsOnStage, so it's certainly not one to be missed.

And for after the vote…

Richard Coyle and Bertie Carvel
Richard Coyle and Bertie Carvel
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage


From 27 June, Almeida

Bertie Carvel will play Rupert Murdoch in this new play about the The Sun, Britain's most influential news paper. It's written by James Graham, the country's best political playwright at the moment and the man behind This House and The Vote. It's set in the '60s as Murdoch is a young man on Fleet Street, so don't expect any references to the newly formed government. But it will give an insight into how the election may have been won or lost thanks to our media.