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    a slick, engrossing production
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    a confident production
    Evening Standard

The Best Man Tickets

Martin Shaw leads a stellar cast in the West End premiere of Gore Vidal’s thrilling political drama The Best Man, playing a strictly limited engagement at London’s Playhouse Theatre. As two US presidential candidates embark on a battle to win the White House, the searing play asks where compromise ends and corruption begins.

Producer Bill Kenwright brings his hugely successful 2017 touring production of The Best Man to the West End’s Playhouse Theatre this spring, starring Martin Shaw. With numerous good reviews behind it, this politically prescient play is guaranteed to resonate with London audiences, at a time when American politics are a fiercely debated topic.

Gore Vidal’s 1960 play about a US presidential election with two candidates on opposite sides of the moral compass parallels the Democratic Party at the time, when Kennedy ran against Adlai Stevenson for the party’s nomination as presidential candidate. However, the play’s resemblance to the 2016 election between Trump and Clinton makes it just as relevant today, despite its 1960’s setting.

In the summer of 1960, populist senator Joseph Cantwell, known for his unscrupulous and fraudulent behaviour, is running against morally upright liberal, William Russell. As the two battle it out, they both seek support from the current President. This endorsement could be the deciding factor between who leads the country and who disappears into obscurity.

West End veteran Martin Shaw (Inspector George Gently) plays William Russell, supported by a stellar cast including Jeff Fahey (Twelve Angry Men), Olivier Award-winner Maureen Lipman, Jack Shepherd, Honeysuckle Weeks and Glynis Barber.

The Best Man is directed by Simon Evans, with design by Michael Taylor and lighting design by Chris Davey, as well as sound and compositions by Ed Lewis. The sizzling political drama runs at the Playhouse Theatre for a strictly limited season, from 24 February to 26 May 2018, with a press night on 5 March 2018.

Performance dates:
26 May 2018 - 26 May 2018
Running time:
2 hours 30 minutes
Playhouse Theatre (See map)
Age recommendation:
Suitable for ages 12+
Audience Notes:
Fans of Gore Vidal’s writing, current affairs and great performances won’t want to miss the opportunity to see this well-received tour come to London.

Latest Audience Reviews

gedwards's avatar
gedwards 23 Feb 2019

An interesting play depicting two presidential candidates being completely ruthless with one anot... More

joc78's avatar
joc78 Top 10 reviewer 17 Apr 2018

Very good show, with a star-studded cast all putting on excellent (as far as I could tell) Americ... More

jenniepollock's avatar
jenniepollock 10 Apr 2018

An enjoyable political drama with recurring themes. It was missing something to ramp up the tensi... More

tony2times's avatar
tony2times 22 Mar 2018

An excellent show being very relevant for today's times. Helps if you enjoy politics (especially... More

blstolborg's avatar
blstolborg 10 May 2018

Was so excited about seeing this show BUT HEAVILY DISAPPOINTED! The cast were fantastic and endea... More

amanda-janefarmer's avatar
amanda-janefarmer 31 Mar 2018
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