The Confessions of Gordon Brown


 This one man show focusses on the political backstabbing and sub plots which surrounded the least charismatic Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in living memory although as it has since turned out perhaps he will not remain not the least loved. It is a bold statement by writer and director Kevin Toolis and a features a strong performance by Ian Grieve despite interruptions from latecomers and an irritating mobile phone which rang periodically throughout the hour long duration. Fortunately Grieve was confident in his role as the belligerent curmudgeon and dealt with the unscripted interruptions in much the fashion you would have imagined Brown would have.

 Running the gamut of what makes a politician successful-height, hair and teeth it would seem- Brown went onto berate many of those who stood in his way on his route to becoming Prime Minister.  He draws attention to the dichotomy of combining showbusiness with politics and  remains resolutely politician first and showman as an occasional afterthought – often not at all- attacking others for falling prey to media friendly temptation and embracing the limelight a litltle too readily.

Naturally Tony Blair receives the bulk of his bile but Alistair Darling and Ed Milliband, don’t escape unscathed either. The unfortunate incident where he dealt with a constituent on what was to be his defeated campaign trail and was recorded calling her a ‘Bigot’ is dealt with hilariously but also with a certain amount of compassion. Obviously not a people person he was probably the least likely candidate for a Prime Minister there has been in decades. Whilst the war in Iraq will be remembered as the policy which destroyed his predecessor one can only imagine that was a minor scuffle compared to the war between these two polar opposites supposedly of the same party.

 This show is a worthwhile addition to the Fringe this year and Grieve manges to remain consistent throughout. At the end you may still not love Gordon Brown but with hindsight as to what came next it may actually force you to reassess  his efforts and hold him in higher regard during his short term in office.


The Confessions of Gordon Brown is showing at The Pleasance Courtyard at 1.45pm until August 26th.

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