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The Absence of War

Visiting Company


Headlong return to the Citz after their smash hit 1984 with a vigorous new production of David Hare’s funny, stinging political drama during the build up to the 2015 general election.

It’s now or never for George Jones. The charismatic leader of the Labour Party needs to get out of opposition and into Number Ten. Plagued by a hostile media, beset by divisions in his party and haunted by his own demons, George has three weeks to convince the Great British Public that he’s their man. But how much compromise is he prepared to make? How can you truly appeal to the man in the street from the House of Commons? And which tie should he wear for Prime Minister’s Questions?

David Hare is one of England’s foremost playwrights and screenwriters. His plays include Plenty, Skylight, The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens. He has received two Academy Award nominations for The Hours and The Reader.

A Headlong, Rose Theatre Kingston and Sheffield Theatres co-production

State of the Nation political drama by David Hare

Main Theatre

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    User Rating

    Rated: (5/5), based on 1 rating

Post Show Discussion: 31 Mar

Wheelchair Access
Guide Dogs welcome
Induction Loop

cast & creative team >

Written by David Hare
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Designed by Garance Marneur
Lighting design by Lucy Carter
Sound design by Tom Gibbons

Theo Cowan Bruce
Ameira Darwish Mary Housego
Reece Dinsdale George Jones
Don Gallagher Linus Frank/Charles Kendrick
James Harkness Andrew Buchan
Charlotte Lucas Lindsay Fontaine
Barry McCarthy Bryden Thomas
Maggie McCarthy Gwenda Aaron
Cyril Nri Oliver Dix
Ekow Quartey Trevor Avery
Helen Ryan Vera Klein
Gyuri Sarossy Malcolm Pryce

Jeremy Herrin is Artistic Director of Headlong. His recent work includes the RSC world premiere of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall/Bring up the Bodies, The Nether (Headlong/Royal Court) and This House (National Theatre). Headlong’s recent productions include 1984, Chimerica, Spring Awakening and The Seagull. David Hare and Jeremy Herrin have previously collaborated on South Downs (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End) and The Vertical Hour (Royal Court).

“Where Hare’s play remains a prophecy of the state we’re in now, Herrin’s production also reveals it as a history lesson” The Herald★★★★

“required viewing for voters…during the build-up to polling day” The Stage ★★★★

Well worth seeing, provided you are not in the Shadow Cabinet. Daily Mail   ★★★★

Reece Dinsdale plays the leader excellently The Guardian ★★★★

“It’s so relevant. It’s quite frightening. It’s different players, different politicians and exactly the same stuff is going on” Amiera Darwish who stars in The Absence of War speaks to The National about how the play still resonates today.

“Yet again,” says Hare, “the Labour Party has got itself into a situation where it daren’t speak.” Writer Sir David Hare talks to The Herald about the similarities between the Labour Party of 1992 and 2015

“Honestly, I could die of happiness. I can’t wait to get up there.” Former Citizens Young Co. member James Harkness talks to The Herald about returning to the Citizens Theatre

“There’s only one thing more painful than losing a general election, and that’s seeing the play about you losing an election.” David Hare writes in The Guardian  about The Absence of War and the lessons today’s Labour Party might learn from the 1992 election campaign.

“Jones’ advisers believe they can eliminate electoral risk by ensuring that “George… learns his lines and he sticks to them” The Independent highlights the role of good PR in an election campaign.

“Politics has been ‘diminished by lack of radicals’” Writer Sir David Hare in Scotland on Sunday


Margaret Baxter

4th April 2015

The Absence of War was tremendous, fabulous performances, funny and so relevant for today.loved it.

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