Whipping it Up (2011)
Directed by Caroline Doyle
Westminster runs the country but the Whips control Westminster.
It’s a week before Christmas, and the new Tory government is facing dissent over its latest Bill. With a precarious majority, the Whips’ office is out in full force, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep their MPs voting true blue.
But they’re in for a long night: boy scouts are rioting in Whitehall, five Tory rebels are on the loose, the Chief Whip’s standing in for Santa and the Deputy Chief Whip for the Opposition will do all in her power to bring them to their knees.
Premiered at The Bush Theatre, London, with Terry Johnson directing a cast led by Richard Wilson, the scandalously funny Whipping It Up blows the lid off the Despatch box and reveals the true secrets locked in the Whips’ safe.
This play could be described as a cross between “Yes, Minister” and “The Thick of It” but that wouldn’t do it justice. It’s funny and fast paced, with enough twists and turns to keep the audience guessing the entire time. It’s a small but perfectly formed slice of life in the Whips’ Office and is guaranteed to entertain.
- Alastair - Christopher Vian-Smith
- Guy – Simon Gleisner
- Tim – Paul Dineen
- Maggie - Emma Howcutt
- The Chief – Matthew Lyne
- Delia – Helen Chadney
- PA - Jen Campbell
- Stage Manager - Kay George
- Assistant Stage Manager - Clodagh Reynolds
- Set Design - Alan Buckman
- Lighting Design - Mark Davies
- Lighting & Sound Operator - Kathryn Ramsay
- Sound Design - Dave Hollander
- Set Construction - Graham Clements, Mark Ireson, Chaz Doyle, Rodney Quinn, Anton Krause, Chris Long, cast and crew
- Scenic Artists - Hazel Hindle & Rosanna Warcup (Signs by Michael Wilson)
I really enjoyed this tonight. Great performances from a solid cast. The piece is pacey, with witty dialogue and interesting dynamics between all of the characters. You don't have to be into politics or political satire to find it funny. I also really liked the set - both the cluttered frontage and the suggestions of what was behind each door. Feel bad singling out any of the great actors onstage but I have to mention Matthew Lyne, whose characterisation and comic timing knocked my socks off. More comedy please Matthew!
It was very amusing. Invite all your civil service friends, they'll wet themselves with the acute humour that's associated with those corridors of power. Never really thought about the impact and influence of the Whips Office when you have a small majority in Government... The production is great, and I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening last night. I loved Helen's portrayal particularly - something about the game playing and constant battle of wits...
Well done all! Funny, fast, fabulous set (loved the detail, check out the shelves & whats on floor!), Simon's comic timing spot on and Helen is so watchable.
Well done to Caroline and her team. Get down to see the show - and, if you need any more persuasion, it's an easy 3-pinter tee hee
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