West End Premiere
Although written over 50 years ago, Gore Vidal's political comedy is still startlingly relevant today. Concerning the competition between two Democratic party candidates to stand for their party, the liberal William Russell and the morally grey Joseph Cantwell, Vidal hilariously and skilfully captures the anti-intellectualism, grandstanding and Machiavellian scheming that still dominates the political landscape to this day.
Marking its West End premiere, Martin Shaw reprises his role as Russell after an extensive and well received UK tour. Direction comes from Simon Evans and the supporting cast is rounded out by Honeysuckle Weeks, Jack Shepherd, Jeff Fahey, Glynis Barber and Maureen Lipman.
It must be nice to have a president on your side - the story of The Best Man
In the run up to the Democratic candidate nominations, two men clash in their hopes of leading their party. On the one hand, the principled and ethical William Russell seems the likely choice, against the grandstanding and unscrupulous southerner Joseph Cantwell, but on the other, both are guarding skeletons in their closets. The deciding factor, an endorsement from ex President Hockstader, depends on just how far they're willing to go for glory, much to the delight of Hockstader who's enjoying keeping them on their toes.
Penned in 1960, Vidal's inspiration for the piece were the real politicians on Capitol Hill including the Kennedys, Joseph McCarthy and young upstart, Richard Nixon.