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The Confessions of Gordon Brown - One4Review

The Confessions of Gordon Brown

| On 13, Aug 2013


Ian Grieve’s most accomplished portrayal of the former Prime Minister is remarkably realistic and credible. The scene is set in the PM’s office in the early morning before his Cabinet colleagues arrive. The period is the final days of his leadership of the country.

Leadership, the acquisition and retention of supreme power are strong threads running through his random exposition of thoughts. He is portrayed as a complex personality. Deep down are his socialist principles of creating a fairer society but also exhibited are his cynicism about politicians in general, the media and, indeed, sections of the electorate. There is his personal credo of doing his utmost which has been inculcated into him since he was a boy growing up in Kirkcaldy as the son of a minister. Not for him the favoured upbringing of Tony Blair. The well-documented Blair/Brown enmity has left in Brown a deep emotional scar. Even in the final days of Brown’s premiership, he believes he can turn the adverse polls around in his favour if he can find the right policies and presentation.

Kevin Toolis’ play gives insight into the demands and pressures placed on political leaders whilst having its amusing lines. As a footnote, it will be interesting to see how Gordon Brown’s career will pan out after leaving Parliament. Will he become a kind of PR brand in the manner of Tony Blair or retreat into obscurity? Time will tell.

Reviewed by Ben

Pleasance Courtyard; 33

31 July to 26 August 2013

13.45 – 14.45

Fringe Programme Page Number: 271


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