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This show closed on January 31, 2019

About I'm Not Running

Pauline Gibson is a junior doctor, who becomes the face of a campaign to save her local hospital. She’s thrust from angel of the NHS, to becoming an independent MP.

In the Houses of Parliament, she crosses paths with her university boyfriend, Jack Gould, a stalwart Labour loyalist, climbing the ranks of the party.

As media and public pressure mounts on Pauline to run for leadership of the Labour party, she faces an agonising decision.

David Hare’s explosive new play, set in a very different 2018, portrays personal choices and their public consequences, through a twenty year intimate friendship.

Tell Me More

“I’m Not Running,” Sir David Hare’s 17th play written for the National Theatre, imagines the potential pitfalls when a political candidate runs a campaign of passion opposing a candidate with clout and major party prestige. The two primary opponents campaigning for a leadership role in the Labour Party represent two key sides of modern political warfare: the single-issue, grassroots candidate and the flashier major party favourite. In other words, Hare as cleverly disguised a classic David and Goliath tale and updated it for the current political climate. That is, of course, if David and Goliath had once been sweethearts in university.

The production’s “David” is a local MP named Pauline Gibson portrayed by Siân Brooke, whose performance offers a “fine intensity and mocking elusiveness” according to “The Independent.” She and her “Goliath,” the entrenched lifelong politician Jack Gould (played by Alex Hassell), have a romantic past from long ago with possible lingering feelings, which adds more complexity to this already layered, intellectually acute play.

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What To Watch For

  • Hare’s work is often political. The playwright told The Guardian, “When you write about the Labour party, you are neither pro nor against, you’re just trying to describe the phenomenon. Your freedom is your power.”
  • For this production, the National Theatre spoke with real politicians Stella Creasy MP and Miranda Green, former press secretary to Liberal Democrats party leader Paddy Ashdown. The two spoke about the real-life landscape of political campaigning in a talk with theatre staff and audience members.
  • Hare is one of Britain’s most revered and prolific living playwrights and screenwriters. Over the course of his career, he’s been nominated for two Academy Awards, three Tony awards, and won two Laurence Olivier Awards and a BAFTA award.

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David Hare’s Labour play hits political bullseyes. A terrific performance from Siân Brooke
The Guardian
Absorbing. A passionate, fluent production
The Independent

Lyttelton Theatre

National Theatre, London, SE1 9PX

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