3.9 (12) · New Writing

Hansard; noun The official report of all parliamentary debates.


It’s a summer’s morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital sparring quickly turns to blood-sport.

A witty and devastating new play.

Critic reviews

An evening that, while fairly enjoyable, is inessential – though it clearly thinks otherwise

The Upcoming

Debut play about the parliamentary ruling class is timely, but ultimately unsatisfying

The Arts Desk

Woods writes with clarity and ease; as a former actor, he gives actors lines you can imagine they relish and he's good at landing jokes that betray a particular type of sardonic ennui


In short, this is a promising piece that shows Woods – who himself went to Eton and Oxford – sabotaging a world of gilded privilege

The Guardian

Well-acted but often heavy-handed play about a Tory marriage

The Stage

Woods may have promise, but promise isn’t really enough for a 900-seat theatre. Like any given member of our current cabinet, Hansard ultimately feels overpromoted

Time Out

Simon Woods's debut play is a satire on late-Eighties Toryism that feels crass even to this lifelong Labour voter, though it eventually becomes something more interesting

Evening Standard

A tantalisingly topical title, but not quite the play Britain's crying out for

The Telegraph

With such a pair of consummate, on-stage professionals to deliver a script which has been fine-tuned like a Bentley, director Simon Godwin must have felt charmed landing the gig

London Box Office

This Aga saga reminds us that an awful lot of British new writing is really just the same as the old British writing

Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor

Simon Woods’ debut play is set in the 1980s but is all too topical now

Financial Times

A pugnacious but uneven Tory party satire


Date & time

Show ended
Thu 22 Aug - Mon 25 Nov, 2.15pm & 7.30pm
Runtime: 1 hr 20 mins


South Bank SE1 9PX London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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