As a General Election looms, this tiny little theatre comes up trumps yet again with a large cast and a big subject in Anders Lustgarten’s extremely well acted and topical new play.
An arresting opening scene firmly establishes the frustrations of former Labour Party organiser Pete Case in today’s multicultural Britain as he battles the authorities (in vain) to get his single parent son onto a housing list apparently filled with large families of needy immigrants.
Not only that, but his current employer and old mate Clint (who’s black) loses a substantial painting and decorating job to a Polish contractor.
Feeling betrayed by New Labour, he’s tempted by what would previously have been a totally unacceptable alternative – a new look British National Party in the shape of Thusitha Jayasundera’s persuasive, persistent Gina.
Half Pakistani and determined to stand for parliament and do the best for the community, she couldn’t be further from the stereotypical yob spoiling for a fight (here represented by Gwilym Lloyd’s thuggish hardliner who can barely be kept in line by Nick Holder’s disconcertingly controlled party leader).
Lustgarten does a good job of showing just why, despite its dubious credentials, working class white voters might be attracted to the BNP, and although Pete’s changes of heart don’t completely ring true, director Ryan McBryde’s fluid production demands attention, with particularly strong performances from Julian Littman’s angry, disillusioned Pete and Sam Swainsbury as his thwarted son Mark who still hopes for better things, but by more acceptable means.
Finborough, Finborough Road, SW10 9ED. Earl’s Court Tube (0844 847 1652) to 27th March (£11 – £15)