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Books

From Anthony Trollope to Meryl Streep: the theatre of politics on stage and screen

A review of A State of Play, by Steven Fielding. A well researched, judiciously selective and fastidiously politically correct history of political productions

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

A State of Play Steven Fielding

Bloomsbury, pp.312, £18.99, ISBN: 9781849669788

On 1 October 1950 the BBC broadcast a seemingly innocuous little play by Val Gielgud. A light-hearted and critically unremarkable political comedy, Party Manners carried a number of pointed criticisms of Labour policy, taking pot shots at egalitarianism, tax-and-spend and big government. With Clement Attlee’s party enjoying only the slimmest of parliamentary majorities and a fresh election in the offing, some BBC executives feared that Party Manners might swing the balance in the Tories’ favour.

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