Review: Rock 'n' Roll Politics

Written by Sam Macrory on 2 August 2013 in Culture
Sam Macrory sees Steve Richards’ political stage show

This article is from the August 2013 issue of Total Politics

The life of a political columnist is a peculiar one. Opinions make their way from keyboard to print while its author remains out of sight, save for a byline photo.

Not Steve Richards (pictured right). The Independent’s chief political commentator has braved the stage, taking Rock ‘n’ Roll Politics, his one man show, to the Soho Theatre.

It’s a one hour discussion on the current political landscape and the cast of charisma-lite politicians which occupy it, with Richards serving up a mix that is part anecdote collection, part spoken political column, and part open forum. He may be playing to a home crowd – I spotted at least one fellow columnist – but he’s brave enough to defend our unpopular politicians, even making the case for raising MPs’ pay.

At the same time, not many audiences would be quite so anoraked as to hit the host with a barrage of questions about majorities and departmental carve-ups when he asks, in a moment of audience interaction, what Nick Clegg should do if faced with another hung parliament. “It was only supposed to be a bit of fun!” Richards pleads, and that’s exactly what the evening is: light hearted recollections and some serious food for thought too. Richards is an unashamed cheerleader for the theatre of politics, and he should be applauded for bringing politics, in an enjoyable and informed way, to the theatre.

Rock 'n' Roll Politics is showing at the Edinburgh Festival. Click here for details.

Soho Theatre is running a season of political productions. Visit

Tags: Rock 'n' Roll politics, Steve Richards

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