Top playwright to pen Brexit TV drama

Written by Sebastian Whale on 1 December 2016 in Culture

James Graham's latest political project will look back on the run-up to the historic vote on 23 June.

One of Britain’s most renowned political playwrights is penning a TV drama about the EU referendum campaign.

James Graham’s latest project will “specifically tackle” what happened during the run-up to the vote on 23 June.

It comes on the back of his short play A Strong Exit, published in the Guardian, which analysed how ministers are preparing for the UK's exit from the European Union.

Graham’s critically acclaimed political drama This House has also just moved to the West End following its run at the Chichester Theatre.

When asked about his next venture on BBC News, Graham said: "I'm working on a TV drama about the referendum campaign."

He argued Brexit “is going to be the main occupying idea in all writers' heads for the next five or 10 years”.

"That doesn't mean necessarily writing a dramatic re-enactment of referendum night, I think it just means the new mood we're living in, which is very different, a bit scary, very divisive, very angry, very confused,” he added.

The move comes four years after This House first premiered at the National Theatre, where it enjoyed two sell-out seasons at the iconic London venue.

The play delves into the wheeling and dealing that underpinned the hung Labour parliament of 1974-79.

It has garnered rave reviews since its move to the Garrick Theatre, gaining five stars from the Guardian while the Telegraph branded it "lucid, fascinating and well-staged".

Its director, Jeremy Herrin, told the BBC he was “delighted” by the reception the play has received.

"We haven't really changed much of it, James has kept the same script," he said.

"When we first did it, the audience's obsession was much more about the coalition government in 2010 and how that was working out, and now it's much more about what's happening in the Labour party."

Graham’s other works include Coalition, a 2015 TV film about David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s horse trading in government.

He also recounted the story of David ‘Screaming Lord’ Sutch in his play Monster Raving Loony, which ran at the Soho Theatre earlier this year.

Total Politics interviewed the playwright back in May. Read the full feature here.

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