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Fantastic First Night For Next Stage Theatre Company’s Democracy

Posted: Wednesday 29 November, 2017

Next Stage Theatre Company's final production for 2017, Democracy by Michael Frayn, opened last night to a wonderful and receptive audience. The Mission Theatre and Next Stage were delighted to welcome The Chair of BANES, Councillor Cherry Beath and guests to the performance and for a photograph after the triumphant opening night.


Director John Matthews with the cast and crew of Democracy with The Chair of BANES, Councillor Cherry Beath


The production has already received an excellent review for its innovative look at the political system:

Review: Democracy – Next Stage Theatre Company – The Mission Theatre


I’m not sure quite what the usual run of plays is but if you’ve ever longed for something completely different then Democracy is probably it.

Contemporary politics isn’t a common subject in theatre and, although this is set ostensibly in 1970’s West Germany, much of the action here could apply to current situations.

There’s an East German spy in Chancellor Willy Brandt’s West German coalition government and, amazingly true, he becomes very close to Brandt. Thus we follow the action, viewed cleverly from both sides, of the internal politics involved in maintaining power with a slender majority and how spies work.

Based largely on the truth, spy Gunter Guillaume (played by believably charming Jon Yardley) even gets to holiday with Brandt (excellent Peter Benson) while passing back information to his puppet master, Arno Kretschman (David Holt).

When the Chancellor’s party gets a bigger majority one worried member remarks: “Victory means you have to do something.” Ain’t that the truth, and the problem.

A perfect black, white and grey set, plus good lighting, simply done and cleverly constructed, this might not be for everyone but for anyone with an interest in Machiavellian politics it’s a rare treat.

Philip Horton

Performances are at The Mission Theatre at 7:30pm until Saturday 2nd December (Matinee Saturday 2nd at 2pm).

Tickets are £12.50 (£10.50 concs) available from The Mission Theatre (01225 428600) or online here. Alternatively, tickets are available from Bath Box Office (01225 4633620) or online here.

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