The Best Man at Playhouse Theatre tickets
The Best Man at Playhouse Theatre tickets

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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.

Recommended for

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.

Age Recommendations: Suitable for ages 12+

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Opened: 24 Feb 2018
Press night: 05 Mar 2018
Booking from: 26 May 2018
Booking until: 26 May 2018

Location and map

Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Ave
London, WC2N 5DE

32 Reviews Add review

An interesting play depicting two presidential candidates being completely ruthless with one another in order to gain their parties... More

joc78 5"4, 359 reviews, 5 helpful votes

Was so excited about seeing this show BUT HEAVILY DISAPPOINTED! The cast were fantastic and endearing except one, whom I felt didn’t... More

amanda-janefarmer 5'5, 43 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Very good show, with a star-studded cast all putting on excellent (as far as I could tell) American accents. Somehow the 'big shock'... More

jenniepollock 4'11, 33 reviews, 2 helpful votes

It's a play of its time, so rather dated, but still had some relevance to today's politics. Jack Shepherd was superb, Maureen Lipman... More

alisonb 5'8", 26 reviews, 0 helpful votes

martyngrogan 5'10", 116 reviews, 1 helpful vote

An interesting look at US politics in the 50's which has a lot to say about today.

oughttobeclowns 5'7, 353 reviews, 37 helpful votes

An enjoyable political drama with recurring themes. It was missing something to ramp up the tension in the climactic scene but still... More

tony2times 5'7, 13 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Really enjoyed this, thought-provoking play and very well-written.

palelylaura 5'10", 136 reviews, 10 helpful votes

Vidal's rarely performed play is wordy but bristling with intelligence. Uniformly strong performances from a talented ensemble.

jonathanlubert 5'10", 32 reviews, 3 helpful votes