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

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Overview

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

29 Reviews Add review

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

joc78 5"4, 263 reviews, 4 helpful votes

An interesting play depicting two presidential candidates being completely ruthless with one another in order to gain their parties nomination to run for president.(i.e. vying to be the 'best man' for the job!) I found it a good play and even though it was written 60 years ago, the themes and ideas are still so relevant today. I found Jack Shephard in particular to be great in his role as the former president. Martin Shaw's American accent wasn't the best to be fair but it was a noble effort. My only gripe was that Maureen Lipman only appeared in two scenes and I wish she'd be in it a bit more as she lit up the stage whenever she was on!

joc78 5"4, 263 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Was so excited about seeing this show BUT HEAVILY DISAPPOINTED! The cast were fantastic and endearing except one, whom I felt didn... More

amanda-janefarmer 5'5, 31 reviews, 0 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 want to be there and was just going through the motions, with no expression at all. Not a lot of plot and I am sorry to say I just couldn’t hack the second half and went home (which is sacrilege for a theatre lover who respects the actors hard work) I feel so sorry for the talented cast having to work with one of the famous leading actors who just lets the whole thing down. I was so bored and nodded off in parts! Sorry guys! Xxx

amanda-janefarmer 5'5, 31 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 shoc... More

jenniepollock 4'11, 18 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Very good show, with a star-studded cast all putting on excellent (as far as I could tell) American accents. Somehow the 'big shock' moment didn't come as a big shock though - there wasn't quite enough tension built up. But very good.

jenniepollock 4'11, 18 reviews, 1 helpful vote

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

palelylaura 5'10", 100 reviews, 8 helpful votes

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

palelylaura 5'10", 100 reviews, 8 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 Lip... More

alisonb 5'8", 15 reviews, 0 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 and Honeysuckle Weeks very good, but Martin Shaw was rather disappointing and seemed to have trouble keeping up an American accent. I do sometimes wonder about the wisdmon of casting Brits as Americans...

alisonb 5'8", 15 reviews, 0 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, 1 helpful vote

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

jonathanlubert 5'10", 32 reviews, 1 helpful vote

An excellent show being very relevant for today's times. Helps if you enjoy politics (especially American) but even if you don't i... More

blstolborg 1 review, 0 helpful votes

An excellent show being very relevant for today's times. Helps if you enjoy politics (especially American) but even if you don't it is still worth seeing. All performances were very strong from the cast.

blstolborg 1 review, 0 helpful votes

martyngrogan 5'10", 48 reviews, 1 helpful vote

martyngrogan 5'10", 48 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Fantastic show, superb acting and great script. Easy to follow and rather ingenious twist at the end. The subject line of morality... More

susancavell 2 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Fantastic show, superb acting and great script. Easy to follow and rather ingenious twist at the end. The subject line of morality and ethics was very relevant to current politics. Would highly recommend.

susancavell 2 reviews, 0 helpful votes