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'This House': Fact and Fiction
Wed 29 March 2017, 18:30 – 20:00 BST
‘This House’: Fact and Fiction
Premiered to acclaim at the National Theatre in 2012, James Graham’s play ‘This House’ tells the story of the opposing whips’ offices during the crisis-ridden years of the 1974-79 Labour government. Entertaining audiences in the West End at the Garrick Theatre from November last year until February, the play gives a fictionalised account of the real-life events that took place behind the scenes in the 1970s House of Commons.
To reflect on this piece of Labour history on the stage, we are delighted to be joined by the playwright and one of the whips portrayed in ‘This House’:
James Graham is a playwright and film and television writer who won the Pearson Playwriting Bursary in 2006 and went on to win the Catherine Johnson Award for the Best Play in 2007 for ‘Eden's Empire’. His play ‘This House’ premiered at the Cottesloe Theatre in September 2012, and transferred to the Olivier in 2013 where it enjoyed a sell out run and garnered critical acclaim. It had its West End debut at the Garrick in November 2016. His play ‘The Vote’ at the Donmar Warehouse aired in real time on TV in the final 90 minutes of the 2015 polling day and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Live Event. His film ‘X and Y’ opened in 2015 and he is currently working on an adaptation of ‘1984’ for the director Paul Greengrass.
Ann Taylor, Rt Hon Baroness Taylor of Bolton, was a Labour MP 1974-83 and 1987-2005. First elected in October 1974, she was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Fred Mulley while he was Education and then Defence Secretary 1975-77, before being appointed an Assistant Government Whip in 1977, giving her a front row seat to the events depicted in ‘This House’. Appointed age 29, she held until 2011 the record for the youngest woman to ever hold government office.
Serving on the frontbench for the rest of her time as an MP, she was appointed to the Cabinet as Leader of the House 1997-98 and as Government Chief Whip 1998-2001. Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee 2001-05, she returned to government as a Defence and then Foreign Office minister in 2007-10.
Carolyn Quinn has been a BBC journalist for over 30 years. With BBC local radio 1986-89, she worked for the BBC at Westminster from 1989 and was a presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme 2004-08. She has presented the PM programme since 2000 and the Westminster Hour since 2007.
Date: 6.30pm, Wednesday 29th March 2017
Venue: Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, SW1A 2LW (please allow at least 15 minutes for security)