Former Bell Pottinger lobbyist gets big names backing his new play

Written by Mr Stakeholder on 12 November 2018 in Diary

Michael McManus' play about Brexit chaos starts its run next week.

This summer, Law Society lobbyist Robert Khan got mixed reviews for his new play, Brexit. 

"The satire could be sharper, but it’s good fun,” wrote the Evening Standard’s Veronica Lee.  Less encouragingly, the Guardian’s Brian Logan noted that “I saw it at a late-night performance where several people around me fell asleep”.

But can anyone in public affairs do better?

Next up from the industry with a new play is former Bell Pottinger Public Affairs director Michael McManus. A Tory special adviser in the 1990s, when he joined Bell Pottinger in 2010 the firm’s top lobbyist Peter Bingle revealed that “I have been trying to persuade Michael to work for me for many years”.

His new play An Honourable Man is about to start a run at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington. It also tackles Brexit – by following the travails of Joe Newman, a “mainstream” Labour MP for a working-class constituency in the North of England. 

Early signs are promising with big names such as Matthew Parris, Polly Toynbee and Michael Dobbs giving the thumbs up to the workshop production.

“What chaos we're in and it captures that chaos wonderfully well,” said Dobbs, Tory peer and author of House of Cards. Guardian columinst Torybee apparently had a "riveting evening" when she was given a sneak preivew.

But if that’s not enough to make fellow lobbyists go and see the show, Mr Stakeholder also heard that a certain Peter Bingle has written to pals to add his support. His email revealed that “Terrapin Communications is delighted to be sponsoring a new play ‘An Honourable Man’ at The White Bear Theatre in Kennington…”





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