the end of history...

the end of history...

Royal Court · 27 JUN - 10 AUG

“No talent at all when it comes to cooking – as you will discover – but when it comes to pissing off my children – immense talent – Olympian talent.”

“Director John Tiffany and playwright Jack Thorne are the creative team who worked with J K Rowling to bring Harry Potter to the stage. They’re at the helm of the Court’s big show of the summer which has a cracking cast, including David Morrissey and Lesley Sharp. The story follows a family from 1997 through to 2017 as their relationships, ideas and politics evolve with the times. The title may be a reference to Francis Fukuyama’s influential 1992 book about the triumph of liberal democratic capitalism at the end of the Cold War, but it’s hard to say what Jack Thorne has in store for us with this one. The characters begin as dedicated socialists, who’ve named their children after their political heroes, but who knows where it goes from there…”


Newbury, 1997. Sal is attempting a cook dinner for the family. She and husband David have pulled off a coup and gathered their brood back home for the weekend.

Eldest son Carl is bringing his new girlfriend to meet everyone for the first time; middle daughter Polly is back from Cambridge University for the occasion; and youngest Tom will hopefully make it out of detention in time for dinner.

Sal and David would rather feed their kids with leftist ideals and welfarism than fancy cuisine. When you’ve named each of your offspring after your socialist heroes, you’ve given them a lot to live up to…

“When I was your age I wanted to be in a band and sleep with Mick Jagger – and Jimi Hendrix – so who am I to judge the choices you’ve made so far?”

Critic reviews

Jack Thorne and John Tiffany’s new show is an absorbing but aimless time-hopping family saga

The Stage

The title promises a political emphasis but instead devolves into the sort of parent-child agon that Philip Larkin might well recognis

The Arts Desk

Kate O’Flynn and Lesley Sharp give stunning performances in Jack Thorne’s family drama

Time Out

The excellent Kate O'Flynn plays beautifully off Davidson in their scene together

Broadway World

Beautifully staged by John Tiffany, Thorne’s new drama explores the pitfalls of socialist parenting

The Guardian

Brooding, dysfunctional family charts course from Blair to Brexit

Evening Standard

Lesley Sharp is painfully funny in this clever, intriguing production

The Independent

Despite a lumpy script and a surfeit of bad language, this play just about works.

The Times

Date & time

Show ended
Thu 27 Jun - Sat 10 Aug, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


Royal Court
Sloane Square SW1W 8AS London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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