Theatre review: This House

FIVE STARS
By Steve Dinneen

THIS HOUSE makes a triumphant return to the National Theatre; and thank God. It’s a near perfect play – tense, laugh-out-loud funny and wipe-your-eyes sad, often all at the same time. It follows the chief whips of Harold Wilson and Ted Heath’s respective parties after the hung parliament of 1974, with Labour doggedly clinging to the vestige of power and the Tories doing everything possible to derail the whole sorry affair.

Cockney wide-boy Phil Daniels shines as the old-school Labour whip and his right-wing counterpart Julian Wadham is equally captivating. Just sublime.