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Steel

17 September, Crucible Studio

A political play by its very nature will almost certainly divide opinion and it's difficult to go into them without already having a point of view.

Politics are personal, intimate, collective, triumphant, competitive and frustrating. We all have ideas on how to better the political landscape of a given situation, and whilst it's surprisingly easy to forget that (most) politicians are in fact human, the smallest of political situations can cause imperative joy or effortless offence. Whether you're a Brexiteer or part of the 'I'd rather not destroy our country' group - which way did you take that sentence? - politics are ours and it seems no one knows how to put this to script better than Chris Bush.

Fuelled by enticing themes of power, gender and race, Chris has written an unapologetic, pacey play focusing on women in local politics over several decades. The two-hander emphasises great changes for women in some areas of local Labour government and depressingly little in others. I found myself at times agreeing and disagreeing with both characters, only to feel sheepish by the end that my support flip-flopped at all. It was those human moments, along with excellent performances from Rebecca Scroggs and Nigel Betts, which carried this powerful portrayal of politics.

To me, the play asked some interesting questions. What does the North need? Does pride of the past stop you from looking at the future? Or is sticking to your roots a way of never forgetting where you came from?

I imagine it's somewhere in the middle. Change is good, necessary, but delicate. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed this play so much. It speaks out, ploughs on. Even in these Trumped-up, Boris baffling, Corbyn clobbering, 'will Teresa May ever actually go away' times, it reminds us to keep standing up for what you believe in.

So just let me say, this whole Brexit thing is ridiculous. Cheers Chris.

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