Natalie Dunne, Matthew Cottle, Debra Stephenson, Ryan Early and Jason Callender playing the game Picture: Craig Fuller

Party Games

Malvern Theatres


This is a hilariously acerbic new comedy by Michael McManus the writer of Maggie and Ted directed by Joanna Read.

The play stars Matthew Cottle, as John, Debra Stephenson as Lisa and Ryan Early as Seth.

Other cast members include Krussi Bohm as Candice, Jason Callander as Luke, Natalie Dunn as Anne and William Oxborrow as Chief Whip. Also in the cast are Shaun Chambers, Alistair Chrisholm, and Erica Tavares Kouassi.

The year is 2026. John Waggner, played in typical prime ministerial fashion by Matthew Cottle is the newly elected leader of the hastily formed centrist One Nation Party, presiding over a hung parliament, a discontented electorate and striking cheese makers.

He and his power hungry MPs must cling on to authority through whatever shaky means possible, and we get a glimpse into the complete chaos of government. 

There are recognisable traits of government ministers we’ve all seen regularly on daytime TV over the last few years with familiar and poignant references to lockdowns, curfews, Brexit and other ineffective strategies that we have grown to accept as the norm.

The prime minister does not help the situation by failing to read papers that are sent to him, despite the constant attempts of his wife Anne played by Natalie Dunn to keep things in order. He is also dyslexic, mistaking words like logistics for log sticks and nuclear for unclear, not a good trait in a Prime minister. (To add to this he had no Sky TV as a child!)

Things come to a head when it is reported that the King’s car has hit a protester, and the government are at a complete loss as to what to do.

Thrown into the mix also is the PM’s updated version of Alexa, Medianne, who makes ominous predictions, outrageous statements and often answers back.

This strong and versatile cast work hard to create the behind the scenes mayhem of this utterly disastrous One Nation party, under the leadership of a completely incompetent prime minister with no sense of direction, and the utter mayhem which ensues.

This light-hearted but thought provoking satire runs to 29th June. 

Jane Lush


Index page Malvern Reviews A-Z Reviews by Theatre