The Best Man
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Two opposing presidential party candidates are neck and neck in an unscrupulous battle for the nomination. The only thing that separates the ex-Secretary of State and his populist opponent is an endorsement from a respected ex-President. But where does compromise end and corruption begin? And who in the end will be proved to be 'the best man'?

One of the UK's best loved actors, Martin Shaw leads a star-studded cast. Best known for his TV roles in Judge John Deed, Inspector George Gently and The Professionals, he returns to the stage after his West End triumphs which include An Ideal Husband, Twelve Angry Men, Are You Lonesome Tonight? and A Man for All Seasons. Jeff Fahey, American movie star whose films include The Lawnmower Man and TV series Lost co-stars alongside one of Britain's finest and best loved film, TV and theatre actresses Maureen Lipman (CBE). Best known on the big screen for roles such as Trish in Educating Rita and in the Oscar-winning film The Pianist. A prolific stage actress, Lipman is an Olivier Award winner (See How They Run) and has appeared in some 20 West End productions.

Joining them is Jack Shepherd, whose extensive career includes his celebrated roles in Wycliffe and Bill Brand; Honeysuckle Weeks who starred alongside Michael Kitchen as Samantha Stewart in Foyle's War and Glynis Barber, best known for Dempsey and Makepeace, Night and Day and EastEnders.

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Martin Shaw stars in the West End premiere of Gore Vidal's sharp political drama The Best Man. Following a UK tour, the production, directed by Simon Evans, transfers to the West End's Playhouse Theatre for a limited season from 24 February to 12 May 2018.

Written and produced on Broadway nearly 60 years ago, long before the battles of Trump vs Clinton and May vs Corbyn, The Best Man never achieved a West End transfer at the time because it was thought that American politics were of no real interest to London audiences.

Martin Shaw (Judge John Deed, Inspector George Gently and The Professionals) is William Russell, esteemed ex-Secretary of State and US presidential candidate, with something of a philandering reputation. Jeff Fahey (The Lawnmower Man, Grindhouse, Lost) is Joseph Cantwell, an ambitious populist newcomer, opposing Russell for the party nomination. Running neck and neck, the only thing that might separate the candidates are endorsements from a respected Ex-President (Jack Shepherd) and party big-wig (Maureen Lipman). As the race heats up the campaign gets personal, involving Russell's estranged wife Alice (Glynis Barber) and Cantwell's wife Mabel (Honeysuckle Weeks). But where does compromise end and corruption begin? How far will they each go to become the most powerful man in the world? And who in the end will be proven to be "the best man"?

The play mirrors the often surprising results of campaigning, and the all-too-often unscrupulous world of politics.

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Type of production: Play

Opened: 24 February 2018

Booking until: 26 May 2018

Running time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Prices: £20.00 - £126.00

Cast: Martin Shaw , Jeff Fahey , Jack Shepherd