Next dates: 31 July - 25 August The Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Festival
The Leader is back! Click here and book now for the Edinburgh Festival show.        The Leader is back! Click here and book now for the Edinburgh Festival show.

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Seen at the Show

  • Baroness Shirley Williams

    Baroness Shirley Williams

    ‘Utterly mesmerising for the audience, you could hear a pin drop, amazing performance’

  • Tom Clarke, Labour MP for Coatbridge

    Tom Clarke, Labour MP for Coatbridge

    'Magnificent. I once said to Gordon: "You should spend more time in London as those dinner parties." And Gordon said: "It's okay Tom, Tony is watching my back,'"

  • Iain Martin, Telegraph Political Commentator and former Scotsman Editor, and Dominic Cavendish, theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph

    Iain Martin, Telegraph Political Commentator and former Scotsman Editor, and Dominic Cavendish, theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph

    'Play captures Broon in all of his, er, intensity. Book now.’

  • Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott

    Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott

    'A brilliant portrayal capturing Gordon's many moods and his resentments over how the master was overtaken by the pupil.'

  • Lord Daniel Finkelstein, Associate Editor of The Times

    Lord Daniel Finkelstein, Associate Editor of The Times

    'insightful, witty, even tragic.... Ian Grieve as Brown is mesmerising...'

  • Tim Shipman, Political Editor, The Sunday Times

    Tim Shipman, Political Editor, The Sunday Times

    "Political junkies, get yourselves to the Ambassador's Theatre"

  • Fiona Philips, TV Presenter and Daily Mirror columnist

    Fiona Philips, TV Presenter and Daily Mirror columnist

    "Really don 't know how [Ian] did that. Truly brilliant performance - uncanny!"

  • Andrew Neil, BBC Daily Politics Presenter, Chairman of Spectator Magazines

    Andrew Neil, BBC Daily Politics Presenter, Chairman of Spectator Magazines

    "Ian Grieve is uncannily life-like"

  • Carolyn Quinn, The Westminster Hour, Radio 4  and Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor, The Independent

    Carolyn Quinn, The Westminster Hour, Radio 4 and Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor, The Independent

    "What an amazing piece of work" -Carolyn

  • John McTernan, Former Political Secretary to Tony Blair

    John McTernan, Former Political Secretary to Tony Blair

    "A meta-analysis of power"

  • Polly Toynbee, Guardian Columnist

    Polly Toynbee, Guardian Columnist

    "Ian Grieve is the very incarnation of Gordon on the stage"

  • Peter Bazalgette, Chairman, The Arts Council

    Peter Bazalgette, Chairman, The Arts Council

    "Edinburgh. Ian Grieve brilliant as the brooding ex-PM.Sell out hit." @PeterBazalgette

  • Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education and Conservative MP for Surrey Heath

    Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education and Conservative MP for Surrey Heath

    "I was totally gripped by it. You could have been 5% more sympathetic to Gordon Brown"

  • Adam Boulton, Political Editor, Sky News

    Adam Boulton, Political Editor, Sky News

    "Gritty/Witty script. Great acting by Ian Grieve. Don't miss it."

  • Paul Goodman, Editor of Conservative Home

    Paul Goodman, Editor of Conservative Home

    "Lampoons the absurdity of modern politics: the gloss, the spin, the marketing, the 'height, hair and teeth'. "

  • LBC Radio presenter Nick Ferrari

    LBC Radio presenter Nick Ferrari

    "Bloody brilliant"

  • Kevin Maguire -  Daily Mirror Political Editor

    Kevin Maguire - Daily Mirror Political Editor

    "Ian Grieve is great as a brooding Brown in Confessions of Gordon Brown. Play focuses on the bad, largely ignoring the good. Makes it fun!"

  • Nick Robinson - BBC Political Editor

    Nick Robinson - BBC Political Editor

    "Brilliantly captures the whole GB experience - passion and belief, anger and paranoia, humour and self knowledge, gloom and self loathing.'

  • Nick Watt - Guardian's Chief Political Correspondent.

    Nick Watt - Guardian's Chief Political Correspondent.

    "Gordon Brown's court was dysfunctional - he never got to grips with Number 10. He was incapable of leading"

  • Daniel Hodges - Telegraph Political Correspondent and Blogger

    Daniel Hodges - Telegraph Political Correspondent and Blogger

    "Ed Milliband has no structure, no network, no supporters. The Labour Party is dysfunctional"

  • Baroness Virginia Bottomley

    Baroness Virginia Bottomley

    "I don't mean to be disloyal, IDS could never ever have become PM"

  • Michael White - The Guardian Associate Editor

    Michael White - The Guardian Associate Editor

    "Ian Grieve's moving portrayal of agonised ex-PM in Confessions of Gordon Brown, Kevin Toolis's poignant monologue of Power."

  • Dorothy Byrne -  Channel 4's Head of News and Current Affairs

    Dorothy Byrne - Channel 4's Head of News and Current Affairs

    "An extraordinary achievement. You raised Gordon Brown's tragic story to Shakespearian levels. And what an actor!"

  • Peter MacMahon -  Political Editor ITV Border and former deputy editor of The Scotsman

    Peter MacMahon - Political Editor ITV Border and former deputy editor of The Scotsman

    "Poignant, funny insight into political leadership + tragedy and triumph of Gordon Brown's premiership"

  • Mandy Rhodes - Holyrood Magazine Editor

    Mandy Rhodes - Holyrood Magazine Editor

    "The Confessions resonates with the flavour of real life politics - a profession that is not for baldies."

  • Michael Fabricant MP for Lichfield & sacked former Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party

    Michael Fabricant MP for Lichfield & sacked former Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party

    “Just brilliant. A comedy. A tragedy. Gordon Brrrooon as you always imagined. Ian Grieve deserves an Oscar!”

Buy "The Confessions of Gordon Brown" from Amazon

The Confessions of Gordon Brown

A new play written by 2014 BAFTA Winner Kevin Toolis
Starring Ian Grieve
The Confessions of Gordon Brown hilariously exposes the darkest secrets of being Prime Minister, the stab-in-the-back plotting, the betrayals and most importantly - the hair gel. Love him or loathe him, Gordon candidly reveals what it takes to knife your way to the top and rule a nation. And how his dream of power all went wrong. A manyrivers production.
"At last the unvarnished truth from a politician"
Richard Nixon

Power has to be taken

Press

  • How we were Banned by the Labour Party

     

    ‘I always knew The Confessions of Gordon Brown would be a controversial play but I never expected the Labour Party would try to ban us.

    The ban against the play arose as we prepared to stage the Confessions during the September annual Labour Party conference in Brighton.

    We approached the organisers to advertise in the  Labour conference magazine - that is sent to every one of the 10,000 delegates. Initally our advert for the play was eagerly accepted and we were even offered a 25% discount on a 1/8 page advert. But then overnight, presumably after talks with Ed Miliband’s office or someone high up, we were summarily told all 1/8 page slots were now full. When we offered to pay for a quarter page advert we were informed the whole magazine was now full unless we paid £10,000s for a single page normally bought by nuclear power companies or rich unions like Unite. A sum simply beyond the resources of a theatre production company.

    Behind the thin pretence, this Labour party ban is a disgraceful almost childish act of censorship reeking both of a Stalinist mind set and gutless political cowardice. Was there something in The Confessions that Labour’s high command feared would catch the conscience of the party leadership? Or their delegates?

    Thankfully in a democracy political parties don’t get to ban playwrights and plays. Like Banquo, the Confessions of Gordon Brown did indeed return to the conference feast at the Old Courtroom Theatre in Brighton. We filled our theatre night after night.

    Dozens of Labour MPs, including former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, and hundreds of Labour party members have since come to see the play and savour  our version of their former leader on stage. And judge the play for themselves.

    Ban or no ban this show will go on ,’ –     Kevin Toolis

     

  • BroadwayBaby.com, Saturday 9th August 2014


    BroadwayBaby

    4star

    Gordon Brown was, according to the blurb for this show, our greatest failing as a Prime Minister in 200 years. I’m not too sure what the meter used for such a claim is but, luckily for Fringe audiences and unlike the enraged Prime Minister that nobody wanted, this show is a triumph.  Read more here

  • The Telegraph, Thursday 5th June 2014

    The Telegraph

    4star


    Sympathy for the Devil

    Are we in a forgiving mood yet? A couple of evenings a week, and at 3pm on Wednesdays, Gordon Brown is to be found on a West End stage ruminating about the art of leadership, an art he proved so lamentably – perhaps even laughably – deficient in, despite years of battling his way to premier position.

    Maybe I’m turning soft, or at least am less irate now that the worst effects of the recession Brown helped usher in have subsided. But watching New Labour’s fallen idol, as imagined by the Scottish journalist Kevin Toolis and forcefully incarnated by the actor Ian Grieve, I felt odd twinges of sympathy for the devil.  Read more here

     

  • The Express, Friday 6th June 2014

    the express

    4star

    The Fragility of a Former PM

    It’s all about keeping up appearances. “You can’t be a leader without hair, height and teeth” proclaims the beleaguered PM Gordon Brown, who was blessed with all three attributes.
    It offers a clue to the inner fragility of a man whose doubts about his fitness for purpose are expressed in a stream of invective and self-flagellating reflection.

    Written and directed by former journalist-cum-documentary maker Kevin Toolis, this one-man show performed by Ian Grieve is a canny, intelligent and often very funny exploration of Britain’s least successful Prime Minister and Labour Party pooper. Read more here

  • The Stage, Thursday 5th June 2014

    The_Stage

    4star

    “A superb one-man show… cracking coalition of writer Kevin Toolis and actor Ian Grieve.”  

    Our former prime minister is given a tragedian’s tribute in this one-man production by the cracking coalition of writer Kevin Toolis and actor Ian Grieve.

    On the wall behind Gordon Brown (Grieve) hangs a stopped clock. It’s a suitable metaphor, for it looks like the Scottish “bear” of Westminster finally has the time he craved to discuss what can change in this country – though, poignantly, time has now deserted him.
    Read more here

  • Theatrecat.com, Thursday 5th June 2014

    Theatre Cat - Libby Purves Reviews

    4star  

    Ian Grieve is perfect casting: he catches a credible longing, resentment and fury but also idealism and vulnerability. He hints enough at the physicality of Gordon Brown without overdoing the famous angry-fish gaping tic.

    We find him in a Westminster office, where the clock is stuck at 5.45 am: waiting for his staff, hammering violently at his laptop as if it were a manual typewriter in long-ago Kircaldy, using that time-stopped moment to express the time he was longing for power, his brief spell in it, the moment of the loss and a delusion of return. Read more here 

  • ThePublicReviews.Com, Friday 6th June 2014

    the public reviews

    “Profound and moving”

     

    Cynicism about the political process abounds. It is a default attitude that has legitimised the self imposed disenfranchisement of the majority of the potential electorate. Politics and politicians are held in such opprobrium that, ridiculously, they are now being touted as an irrelevance. Those who put their heads above the parapet and become involved are often tarred with the brush that depicts a landscape of deceit, self-serving and corruption. Fuelled by personal ambition they are perceived by so many to be the epitome of everything that is wrong with Government.

    This fascinating, at times vitriolic, piece of work both confirms the jaundiced public view whilst also offering a striking example of an individual who might give the lie to the cliché. If we really knew the truth and understood how the world of power and leadership actually worked I suspect it would feel something like this. The play has a confidence, an authority and an authenticity about it that is very persuasive.  Read more here

  • Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE: The Times

    The-Times-logo

    “Insightful, witty, even tragic”

    Ian [Grieve] said he had to guess what shouting sounded like, but a friend of mine who was present and knows Brown very well said that it was bang on.

    Read more here

    Finkelstein notebook

  • The Independent, Wednesday 11th June 2014

    The Independent

    3star

     

    “Convincing”

     

    It’s dawn, and Gordon Brown is looking back over his career before his staff even arrive for a 6am meeting. Protestant work ethic? Not half. And that’s just one element of the former Labour leader that writer Kevin Toolis puts under the microscope in this one-man play.

    Ian Grieve’s performance implies that Brown was fond of the limelight. And, despite lumbering in a convincingly bear-like fashion, emotionally Grieve turns on a sixpence – switching from grandiose “I am the leader” hubris to fear of failure, a sense of groping the dark.

    Toolis is good on Brown’s all-too-human contradictions: here is genuine belief in the need to change society, and the oft-repeated motto “I will try my utmost”; yet here also is ruthlessness towards colleagues and scorn for “the public”.  Read more here

  • Waitrose Weekend, Thursday 5th June 2014

    Websize Waitrose Weekend logo

     By Quentin Letts

    Gordon Brown – remember him? – is brought to the West End stage in all his nail-bitten, brow-beating glory in this short and already-nostalgia-tinged monologue.

    Your initial reaction might be ‘why should anyone wish to spend an hour watching an actor play that self-tormented chap who was briefly our Prime Minister?’  Fair question.  Hear me out.

    The play was written by Kevin Toolis, a man of the Left, so it is not some dreary political attack about events long gone.  It is light on policy.

    Instead it focuses on the humanity of Gordon Brown’s character and it does so with plenty of comedy and one or two moments of more poignant reflection.

    Read more in Waitrose Weekend, available this week, or alternately the full review is available on an ongoing basis via the Waitrose Weekend App 

  • Thursday, 5th June 2014

    The-Times-logo 

     3star

    “The fine actor Ian Grieve embodies Brown”   

    Chirpy grins didn’t come naturally to Gordon Brown. During his years as prime minister from 2007 to 2010 it looked excruciatingly as if he was being told by PR gurus to act perky and crack smiles for the media rather than be himself.

    Of course, the real-life ex-Labour leader is not, in person, performing The Confessions of Gordon Brown, a monologue that’s now filling midweek slots at the West End’s Ambassadors Theatre before returning to the Edinburgh Fringe (where it premiered last summer).  Read more here

  • The Guardian, Thursday 5th June 2014

    guardian-logo

    3star

    “Vivid”

    Grieve’s performance captures Brown’s well-documented mixture of moral seriousness and high temper. Read more here

  • The Sunday Times Culture Magazine, Sunday 1st June 2014

    sunday-times-logo11

    Power, Intrigue and Politics! 

    Read more here!

    THE CONFESSIONS OF GORDON BROWN DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD IN THE SUNDAY TIMES

  • Announcement

    Complicit bafta won

  • The Telegraph

    The Telegraph

    4star

    Edinburgh Festival 2013: The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Pleasance Courtyard, review

    Dominic Cavendish enjoys Ian Grieve’s convincing and at times chilling portrayal of the former Labour leader.

    The venue is “Pleasance Beneath” – a basement, a bunker, a place of darkness. Ideal for an audience with Gordon Brown, a theatrical reckoning that has been long – too long – in coming, but now arrives in the form of a sleek, bleakly amusing monologue, written by the Scottish journalist and film-maker Kevin Toolis, that is destined to be one of the big talking points of this year’s Fringe.

    We behold Ian Grieve’s convincingly lookalike, unnervingly sound-alike Brown, wearing a suit, red tie and creepy grin, at the point in his story when power still remains in his grasp but hope is beating a hasty retreat.

    He’s at No 10 before the 2010 election, in a moment of administrative calm after dawn, some way off 6am. Restless, impatient, prowling, he waits for his staff. And confides in us with forced amicability; a quick lesson from the wise – a primer in the art of leadership from a man belatedly realising he’s not a very good one. Read more here

  • Daily Mail

    Daily_Mail

    4star 

    Confessions of Gordon Brown drills right into the soul of former PM By QUENTIN LETTS Left-wing writer Kevin Toolis is creating a stir with his hour-long portrait of Gordon Brown. In this monologue, the former PM (played brilliantly by Ian Grieve) frets and foams in his Downing Street office at 5.40am one day. The material is better than mere impersonation or satire. It drills into the soul of the man, and here is my one cause for hesitation. Mr Brown is, after all, still very much with us, and some of the psycho-analysis is pretty raw. We see a leader tortured by envy of the English. Remembering Napoleon Bonaparte, he sticks a hand inside his jacket, just like Bony. Read more here

  • Scottish TV

    Why did Gordon Brown struggle to find success as Prime Minister? Watch the clip from Scottish TV: [youtube]http://youtu.be/HQdDQKuX1jc[/youtube]

  • Daily Politics Show, April 1st 2014, The Importance of Image - Can Baldies Do It?

    The importance of image (including their hair, or lack of) to the success of a political leader is one theme of the satirical play The Confessions of Gordon Brown. Jo Coburn spoke to creator Kevin Toolis, John McTernan, who used to advise Tony Blair on political strategy, and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett about the image of leading politicians. Watch the clip here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=856268917723301

  • Edinburgh Evening News, March 11th 2014: Billy Hartman stars in The Confessions of Gordon Brown

    Edinburgh-Evening-News-logo

    FOR 16 years, Billy Hartman was a regular in living rooms across the UK.
    As Terry Woods in Emmerdale, we watched as he went through the usual gamut of soap excess, from extra-marital affairs, to being suspected of murder, only to be killed off, a hero, as he tried to rescue others from a fire, in 2011. Read more: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/what-s-on/theatre/billy-hartman-stars-in-confessions-of-gordon-brown-1-3335770

  • Scotsman, March 10 2014: The Confessions a Great Scottish export Brian Monteith

    The Scotsman

    Scotsman writer Brian Monteith on the return of The Confessions to the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh http://www.scotsman.com/news/brian-monteith-giving-up-britishness-1-3334267

  • Huffington Post, March 4 2014 : Box Sets, drama and the state of political play

    huffington-post-logo

    Writer Kevin Toolis asks what TV political drama series like House of Cards and political plays tell us about the state of politics. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kevin-toolis/what-does-drama-and-the-box-series-tell-us-about-the-state-of-politics_b_4895265.html

  • BBC Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth, 28 February 2014

    Listen to Director  Kevin Toolis and actor Billy Hartman talk to BBC Scotland Culture  Studio host Janice Forsyth about the play at 25.50 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03w056s …

  • Edinburgh Evening News: Former Emmerdale star Billy Hartman to play Gordon Brown, 25th February 2014

    NEWS Edinburgh Evening News 15 02 14

  • Entertainment Focus : The Political Hit opening in the West End

    The political hit by Kevin Toolis comes to the Ambassadors Theatre from June 3rd – July 31st.
  • Public Reviews: Smash Hit Returns to Traverse in Edinburgh, 25th February 2014

    Read more: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/news-the-smash-edinburgh-festival-and-london-west-end-hit-the-confessions-of-gordon-brown-returns-home-to-edinburgh/

  • Edinburgh University alumnus Kevin Toolis explains why he wrote the play 25th February 2014

    Low REs  Playwright director Kevin Toolis. MRF 2013

    Edinburgh University alumnus, writer and filmmaker, Kevin Toolis explains why he was inspired to write a play about another famous alumnus, former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Read more: http://www.ed.ac.uk/alumni/services/news/news/kevin-toolis 

  • VRN Presenter Nominated for Radio Award, 10th Jan 2014

    ‘Anas Hassan, who is one of the station’s presenters, interviewed Emmy-nominated screenwriter Kevin Toolis about his much talked about play ‘The Confessions of Gordon Brown’. Read more: http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/what-s-on/leisure-time/vrn-presenter-nominated-for-radio-award-1-3261435

  • Channel 4 News, 22nd Sept 2013

    The Confessions of Gordon Brown on Channel 4 News Watch here

  • Today Programme, 23rd Sept 2013

    Today Programme (BBC Radio): Kevin Toolis: Play reflects ‘failures’ of Gordon Brown

    The play Confessions of Gordon Brown has transferred to Brighton from the Edinburgh Festival, but the Labour Party have banned it from being advertised in the main conference brochure.
    Gordon Brown pollster Deborah Mattinson told the Today programme’s Justin Webb, “the play shows what the public expects of politicians”. Director Kevin Toolis said the play was about “our greatest failures at prime minister in 200 years. “He had incredibly positive qualities… yet in office he was an abysmal failure.” Listen here
  • Daily Mail, 23rd Sept 2013

    Daily_Mail

    Gordon has the last laugh
    by ANDREW PIERCE, 22 September 2013

    Revenge is sweet for the producers of The Confessions Of Gordon Brown. The remarkable one-man show, starring Ian Grieve, was banned from the Brighton party conference arena by the Labour leadership. It is playing to packed crowds in the Old Courtroom Theatre, a five-minute walk from the conference centre, in a brief visit from its home  at London’s Trafalgar Studios. In the play, the Brown character brings the house down when he says: ‘Ed Miliband. I wonder what he’s up to. ‘You never hear from Ed these days. It was a mistake for Ed to become an MP. He should have stayed as chief geek.’
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2429596/ANDREW-PIERCE-Labours-red-faces-Royal-Mail.html#ixzz2fj9sdyCo

  • Fabian Society, 20th Sept 2013

    Review: The Confessions of Gordon Brown
    By Paul Richards,

     

    The first and most pressing thing to say is that Ian Grieve’s portrayal of Gordon Brown is uncannily, scarily, astonishingly lifelike. I don’t mean Grieve does a good impression of Gordon Brown, or an amusing caricature. I mean it’s like Gordon Brown is physically present in the room. The dark suit, white shirt with silver cufflinks, black shoes and socks, and skew-whiff lilac tie are precisely accurate. They may as well have been lifted from Brown’s wardrobe when he wasn’t home Full Article
  • The Guardian, 21st Aug 2013

    guardian-logo  

    Is Ed Miliband heading for the same grisly fate as Gordon Brown? 
    By Kevin Toolis

    The writer of a new play about the former prime minister’s time in office says it is already too late for the current Labour leader to avoid a similar ignominious end

    Extract: After the 2010 election I went round Brown’s inner court and spoke to his closest allies – Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Damian McBride, Spencer Livermore, Stan Greenberg and Deborah Mattinson – to understand why Gordon Brown was our greatest failure as prime minister in 200 years.

    The result is a play, The Confessions of Gordon Brown, that had its world premiere at the Edinburgh fringe and opens at the Trafalgar Studios in London next month. We are also putting on the play as this year’s party conference. But when we tried to advertise in the official conference magazine, party leaders – after initially agreeing to accept our advert – reversed their decision and refused to carry an advertisement anywhere, apart from in a “prestige” slot, costing over £6,000. That’s a position, and a price level, usually reserved for powerful trade unions or companies in the nuclear industry.

  • Independent. 20th Sept 2013

    The Independent   The McPoison papers: Confessions of rogue Labour spin doctor Damian McBride laid bare in memoir by James Cusick, 20th Sept 2013 “Kevin Toolis, whose play The Confessions of Gordon Brown is currently at London’s Trafalgar Theatre, said he talked to McBride as part of his play’s research. “As a fanatical member of Brown’s inner circle, working for ‘the boss’ was all-consuming for Damian. He had to fend off enemies and conspire with so-called press friends to further Brown’s premiership. And it all took its toll on his health.” Read full article

  • Conservative Home, 19th Sept 2013

    Paul Goodman: Gordon Confesses – or: an Hour in Gordon Brown’s Hell
    By Paul Goodman, 19 Sept 2013

    The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Kevin Toolis’s window into the seventh circle of the former Prime Minister’s soul, has been well-reviewed – both in the sense of positively and thoroughly.  I came to the play’s run at the Trafalgar Studios with a preconception of it.  Toolis is a man of the Left, or was when I knew him: I remember him telling journalists around a dinner table in Belfast that they should have a view on Northern Ireland’s troubles, and not just an eye for the facts. Read full article here: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thecolumnists/2013/09/from-paulgoodmanch-.html

  • Guardian, 17th Sept 2013

    guardian-logo

    “[Michael] Gove himself [MP and Secretary of State for Education]… made his way to Kevin Toolis’s comedic anatomy of a prime ministerial meltdown, The Confessions of Gordon Brown, now playing in London. And his verdict: the play could have been 5% more sympathetic to Brown; but only 5%. One of Brown’s former speechwriters, who was also in the audience, said the play was good but that it couldn’t convey the full “tragedy” of the ill-fated Labour leader. Read full article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/17/hugh-muir-diary-royal-family-wonga

  • Sky News, 15th Sept 2013

    SkyNews

    On Sunday 15th September The Confessions writer Kevin Toolis and actor Ian Grieve appeared on Sky News. 

    Below is the associated article which appears on the Sky News Website:

    Gordon Brown Portrayed As Macbeth Of Politics
    16th Sept 2013

    His rise to power is akin to the ascension to the throne of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, says the writer of a play about the ex-PM. A new one-man comedy-show aims to shed light on the personality behind former prime minister Gordon Brown. The 62-year-old, who took over the leadership of the Labour Party from Tony Blair in 2007, has largely stayed out of the public eye since he left Downing Street three years ago. But a new play – The Confessions Of Gordon Brown – has thrust the politician back into the spotlight. Read full article: http://news.sky.com/story/1142017/gordon-brown-portrayed-as-macbeth-of-politics

  • The Gay UK, 11th Sept 2013

     REVIEW: The Confessions Of Gordon Brown, Trafalgar Studios 
    By Becky Harper
    11th September 2013

    4star

     Fresh from the Edinburgh fringe, this hit one man show has transferred to the prestigious Trafalgar Studios in London. This satirical look at the reign of Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour party is both laugh out loud and moving in equal parts. Written by Emmy award winning Kevin Toolis, the script swiftly moves between discussion of Brown the public figure and Brown the man. Read full article: http://www.thegayuk.com/#/magazine/4574334751/THEATRE-REVIEW-The-Confessions-Of-Gordon-Brown-Trafalgar-Studios/6512268

  • The Upcoming, 6th Sept 2013

      The-Upcoming-Logo The Confessions of Gordon Brown at Trafalgar Studios | Theatre review by Alice Fitzgerald 4star

    After a successful debut at Edinburgh Festival, sharp new play The Confessions of Gordon Brown has opened in London. This one-man show explores the dark and convoluted secrets that come with being prime minister with incredible insight and wit. Kevin Toolis is the writer and director of this production, and he has managed to do something remarkable: create a scathing political satire that can be enjoyed by anyone, not just those well-acquainted with politics. The comedy is done in such a way that you need only a basic understanding of Gordon Brown’s career to appreciate it, though of course the more you know, the better. Toolis’ writing is sharp and funny, and he is not afraid to push the boundaries of political correctness. Read full article here: http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2013/09/06/the-confessions-of-gordon-brown-at-trafalgar-studios-theatre-review/

  • Daily Mail, 16th August 2013

    Daily_Mail

    4star  

    Confessions of Gordon Brown drills right into the soul of former PM
    By QUENTIN LETTS

    Left-wing writer Kevin Toolis is creating a stir with his hour-long portrait of Gordon Brown. In this monologue, the former PM (played brilliantly by Ian Grieve) frets and foams in his Downing Street office at 5.40am one day. The material is better than mere impersonation or satire. It drills into the soul of the man, and here is my one cause for hesitation. Mr Brown is, after all, still very much with us, and some of the psycho-analysis is pretty raw. We see a leader tortured by envy of the English. Remembering Napoleon Bonaparte, he sticks a hand inside his jacket, just like Bony. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/reviews/article-2395249/Confessions-Gordon-Brown-drills-right-soul-PM.html#ixzz2cDpge3F4

  • New Statesman, 16th Aug 2013

    new_statesman_logo  

    At the Edinburgh Fringe: Engels! The Karl Marx Story and The Confessions of Gordon Brown

    Karl Marx and Gordon Brown unravel on stage in two political gems at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. BY STEPHEN BRASHER
    If Marx is presented as a man only too keen to take credit for other people’s work, Kevin Toolis’s The Confessions of Gordon Brown portrays a man not very keen on letting anyone else do anything at all. Ian Grieve gives a towering performance as Brown seemingly frozen in time at twenty to six in the morning, waiting for his staff to arrive at six, so he can shout at them. He is fixated by the example of his father “John Brown, minister…” and the motto of his old school Kircaldy High: “I strive to my utmost”. If there are one too many references to his hatred for Tony Blair and Cherie – “that couple – I think we all know who I mean” – it doesn’t distract too much from a portrait of a man who criticises others for not having fixed principles (and for the apparently even more heinous crime of being bald in politics), but doesn’t really seem to have many himself, aside from fulfilling his manifest destiny to become prime minister.
    Read full article: 
    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/08/edinburgh-fringe-engels-karl-marx-story-and-confessions-gordon-brown
  • The Telegraph, 12th Aug 2013

    The Telegraph
    Tim Walker. 12 Aug 2013
    At an Edinburgh Fringe performance of The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Nick Brown, the former agriculture minister, dominated the front row with his girth – and mirth. Sadly, the theme of the piece, of being yesterday’s man, applied to him more than the subject of the play. During the play, Ian Grieve, as the hapless former prime minister, lays into the buffoonery of the Blair era cabinet – and defies the audience to name the then defence secretary. A poignant silence in the auditorium ensued. “Geoff Hoon,” muttered Nick Brown, finally, with hardly anybody aware of his own identity. “You are an important man, and here is your badge of honour,” said Grieve, handing over a button, not knowing of the recipient either. Read full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10236200/Ernest-Hemingway-never-wrote-drunk-says-granddaughter-Mariel-Hemingway.html
  • The Scotsman, 13th Aug 2013

    The Scotsman Kevin Toolis: Political history sees only leaders by Kevin Toolis It is a truism that all political careers end in failure. The real truth is far worse: the ultimate destiny of all those who take their seats at the Cabinet table, except the leader, is one big absolutely forgettable nothing. They are simply forgotten. As a tease to the audience in The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Ian Grieve, who plays Brown, asks the audience to name five members of Blair’s first 1997 Cabinet. No-one can. In particular he asks the name of the key minister in one of the most historic decision points of Blair’s premiership. The answers, if they come at all, are invariably wrong, except for the other day when a vaguely familiar face in the front row shouted out the right answer. It was former chief whip Nick Brown, and a senior member of the Blair government at the time. Our fictive leader duly awarded him a tin badge. Read full article: http://www.scotsman.com/news/kevin-toolis-political-history-sees-only-leaders-1-3042616

     
  • Daily Mail, 11th Aug 2013

    Daily_Mail    The tragedy of Gordon Brown – the forgotten Macbeth of British politics: A withering portrayal by Left-wing writer who turned ex-PM’s failure into a stage play by Kevin Toolis Nothing in his premiership so became him as the leaving of it. Who could fail to be moved when Gordon Brown walked out of Downing Street holding the hands of his two sons, with his wife Sarah, his head held high to go to the Palace to resign? Or those last few honest, emotion-charged words on the doorstep of No 10 summarising his own troubled time in office.  ‘I have been privileged to learn much about the very best in human nature and a fair amount too about its frailties – including my own.’ But he was a failure as Prime Minister. I would even argue that he was our worst in 200 years. The reasons why this superbly capable, highly moral and in many ways thoroughly admirable man crashed as PM are psychologically fascinating on a personal level and profoundly important for British democracy. I set out to find out why. I began by interviewing those of Brown’s inner circle who would speak to me, including Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Damian McBride, his pollsters Deborah Mattinson and Stan Greenberg, his head of policy Spencer Livermore. The result is a play, The Confessions Of Gordon Brown, which has its world premiere at this year’s Edinburgh Festival before transferring to London’s West End in September. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2389150/The-tragedy-Gordon-Brown–forgotten-Macbeth-British-politics-A-withering-portrayal-Left-wing-writer-turned-ex-PMs-failure-stage-play.html#ixzz2beLBNHBE

  • Broadway Baby, 10th Aug 2013

    Prime Minister’s Secrets Time by Alice Longhurst

     4star

    logo broadway baby       It’s 5:40am by the clock on the office wall and Gordon Brown has some secrets to share before his first governmental meeting of the day. He’s statuesque and statesmanlike, with his red tie carefully tucked into his trousers and he speaks in a smooth, measured Scottish accent. He reaches out to shake hands in the front row of an audience which is part confidant, part eavesdropper, listening in on this monologue of rambling thoughts and memories. He ponders how Napoleon’s final days resonate with the end of his long-awaited premiership before flicking back to his younger years in politics which honed a sense of destiny and determination to rise to power. We constantly veer back to several sore points; bitterness at so many years spent in Tony Blair’s shadow, his politician’s image obsession with height (he’s taller than Blair), having a full head of hair and the lofty conviction that he alone saved the (financial) world. Read full article: http://www.broadwaybaby.com/listing.php?id=21683

  • Fourth Wall, 10th Aug 2013

    Edinburgh Reviews: Confessions of Gordon Brown (Pleasance)
    A riveting solo performance steeped in humour and melancholy. One-person shows are always big at Edinburgh, and this combination mixed with politics is proving a big draw at Pleasance, with a rather older, more traditional crowd than many other shows. Confessions of Gordon Brown is a riveting solo performance steeped in humour and melancholy. A compelling and expertly executed imagined monologue of Brown’s in the early hours before the 2010 election. What it lacks in real ‘confessions’ it more than makes up for in a bleak tale of rapidly fading hope and self-belief.
  • The Times, 8th Aug 2013

    The-Times-logo
    4star
    The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Pleasance by Allan Radcliffe
    One of the first things that strikes you about this one-man comedy is the uncanny physical resemblance between the actor Ian Grieve and the former Prime Minister. Grieve has nailed the Dear Leader’s tendency to talk over the heads of his audience, as well as his disconcerting habit of grinning at inopportune moments. Gordon Brown would no doubt have approved of the actor’s upright comportment and full head of hair. After all, as the great man himself puts it, the British public would never allow themselves to be led by “a baldy”.
    This monologue, by the writer and director Kevin Toolis, is structured around extracts from the speech that Brown made when he succeeded Tony Blair as PM. The rest, a kind of long dark night of the soul in which the now ex-Labour leader reflects on his path to power and the obstacles he encountered when he got to the top, is pure speculation. Still, one can’t help feeling that Toolis has the measure of Brown’s fragile ego and tragic lack of self-awareness.
    The story takes in Brown’s upbringing as a son of the Manse, his relationships with fellow politicians, including his obsessive rivalry with Blair, and the recapitalisation of the banks that temporarily halted his slide in the polls. In his bumptious reflections on leadership he’s withering about the competition (William Hague, Alistair Darling and “Ed Milly” all get it in the neck).
    Brown’s slow rise and rapid downfall have been compared to Shakespearean tragedy, but Toolis’s monologue is more akin to Alan Bennett’s Talking Headsthan Macbeth, with all the layers of irony and self-delusion lurking just beneath the surface. The piece loses momentum and becomes a little repetitive towards the end, but it’s held together nicely by a clever — and ultimately sympathetic — performance from Grieve.
    Read more: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/stage/edinburgh-festival/article3836723.ece
  • The Telegraph, 7th Aug 2013

    The Telegraph       Edinburgh Festival 2013: ‘Gordon Brown had the malevolence of Macbeth, the madness of King Lear’ The Confessions of Gordon Brown is theatre’s first proper examination of the former PM. And, as writer Kevin Toolis tells Dominic Cavendish, it’s the man’s flaws that make him interesting By Dominic Cavendish, 07 Aug 2013 One of the most shameful omissions in our booming new writing culture during the New Labour years was any noteworthy theatrical examination of Gordon Brown. Where left-leaning playwrights were happy to grapple with government foreign policy, the domestic agenda was given a curiously wide berth. Blair was the bogeyman, Brown got off Scot-free. His brooding presence has latterly stalked Peter Morgan’s The Audience, although it was an earlier TV drama, The Deal, also by Morgan, that memorably brought home the long-rumbling rift at the heart of “the project”.

  • Edinburgh Evening News, 7th Aug 2013

    Edinburgh Evening News logo 5star Theatre Review: The Confessions of Gordon Brown

    by RICHARD FRANKLIN
    IAN Grieve gives a truly riveting solo performance in this witty, pacey and revealing encounter with a Prime Minister of some complexity, not to say complexes. Pleasance Courtyard Kevin Toolis’ informed script leaves you with the feeling that you have been in the presence of a very intelligent man of diverse knowledge, not only of history but also of the ‘intriguing’ side of politics, historical and present day. In this production at the Pleasance Courtyard, Brown emerges as a man of great humanity and high aspiration, but whose temperament cast him as a thoroughly unsuitable candidate for leadership of a nation, his psychological weakness exacerbated by his long wait for the hot seat, due to the duplicity of his former colleague Tony Blair. Unsuitable material to wear the crown he so profoundly coveted and believed was his right, when he finally realised his dream he proceeded to tie the knot on Britain’s bankruptcy, which Blair had begun with the Iraq War. Read full article: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/what-s-on/theatre-review-confessions-of-gordon-brown-1-3033717
  • The Telegraph, 3rd August 2013

    The Telegraph
    4star Edinburgh Festival 2013: The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Pleasance Courtyard, review Dominic Cavendish enjoys Ian Grieve’s convincing and at times chilling portrayal of the former Labour leader. The venue is “Pleasance Beneath” – a basement, a bunker, a place of darkness. Ideal for an audience with Gordon Brown, a theatrical reckoning that has been long – too long – in coming, but now arrives in the form of a sleek, bleakly amusing monologue, written by the Scottish journalist and film-maker Kevin Toolis, that is destined to be one of the big talking points of this year’s Fringe.
    We behold Ian Grieve’s convincingly lookalike, unnervingly sound-alike Brown, wearing a suit, red tie and creepy grin, at the point in his story when power still remains in his grasp but hope is beating a hasty retreat. He’s at No 10 before the 2010 election, in a moment of administrative calm after dawn, some way off 6am. Restless, impatient, prowling, he waits for his staff. And confides in us with forced amicability; a quick lesson from the wise – a primer in the art of leadership from a man belatedly realising he’s not a very good one. Read full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/edinburgh-festival/10219779/Edinburgh-Festival-2013-The-Confessions-of-Gordon-Brown-Pleasance-Courtyard-review.html
  • Scotsman, 3rd Aug 2013

    The ScotsmanGerry Hassan: Will real Gordon Brown reveal himself GORDON Brown dominated Scottish politics for several decades. Now gone from the stage, he has left only memories and the issue of his legacy. Brown is a fascinating figure – a very public person, but private; moral in his deliberations yet filled with caution; supposedly radical but profoundly conservative. Kevin Toolis’s new play Confessions of Gordon Brown (on at the Pleasance during the Festival) attempts to get inside the mind and psyche of Brown. This is a potent idea and something writers previously explored with Blair, perhaps most notably in The Trial of Tony Blair, where he is seen to be haunted by the ghosts of Iraqi war dead. Read full article: http://www.scotsman.com/news/gerry-hassan-will-real-gordon-brown-reveal-himself-1-3028484

  • Reuters, 2nd Aug 2013

    reuters-logoShining sun welcomes wacky and wonderful to Edinburgh Fringe By Ian McKenzie Extract: “Scottish writer and director Kevin Toolis brings political satire in “The Confessions of Gordon Brown” with actor Ian Grieve giving an impressively dour performance of the former British prime minister.” Read full article: http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/08/02/entertainment-us-edinburgh-fringe-idINBRE9710TU20130802

  • Herald, 2nd Aug 2013

    Herald-logo Impolitic: is Gordon Brown really Mr Misunderstood? by Andy Bollen, Aug 2nd 2013 The Fringe Festival starts today in Edinburgh. I will be keen to see a one-man play at the Pleasance by Kevin Toolis,The Confessions of Gordon Brown,a tale of ambition, back-stabbing and betrayal, and with a name that always makes me sing the Stranglers song ‘Golden Brown’ (that bit at the end is just me, it’s not in the play). It’s about what happens when you dare to dream and it turns into a complete nightmare, not just a partial nightmare but a complete one.  The writer called in Brown supporters Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander and Damian McBride to get the inside track on the former PM’s real personality. Apparently the research worked, it’s receiving rave reviews, and making those who’ve seen it reassess their opinion of Gordon Brown. Read the full article here: http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/viewpoint/impolitic-is-gordon-brown-really-mr-misunderstood.1375445031

  • The Independent, 2nd Aug 2013

    The Independent         Edinburgh 2013 review: The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Pleasance Courtyard by David Pollock 2nd August 2013 An extract: “

    All of these thoughts are ascribed to him by writer and director Kevin Toolis in this well-observed one-man dissection of many of Brown’s real and possible motives. The piece rings with authenticity thanks to Toolis’ obvious familiarity with his subject and an excellent central performance which sees Ian Grieve inhabit our last Prime Minister.

    Read the full review here: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/edinburgh-festival/edinburgh-2013-review-the-confessions-of-gordon-brown-pleasance-courtyard-8743624.html

  • Edinburgh Evening News, 31st July

    Edinburgh Evening News
    Kevin Toolis: What if Gordon Brown had won?  31st July 2013
    What if Gordon Brown had narrowly scraped victory in the 2010 General Election and was still Prime Minister?
    Would there even be a referendum on Scottish independence? Would Gordon Brown have given in so easily to Alex Salmond? And would the Scottish Labour Party have escaped what appear now to be its terminal death throes? Read full article http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/kevin-toolis-what-if-gordon-brown-had-won-1-3022881
  • The Independent, 26th July 2013

    The Independent
    The Confessions of Gordon Brown fringe play: Tony Blair? Don’t worry about him, Gordon, it’s a one-man show
    Show is a chance to reassess Britain’s least loved PM, writes Jonathan Brown His final walk along Downing Street, hand in hand with his wife and two young sons, was an uncharacteristically human moment in the political life of a Prime Minister who could never convince the British public to love him.
    How the electorate that scorned him is to be offered the chance to reassess his reputation and be afforded a glimpse into the “dark secrets” of the former Labour leader as his notorious rages, penchant for hair gel and Shakespearean fall from power are laid bare on the stage. Full article: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/the-confessions-of-gordon-brown-fringe-play-tony-blair-dont-worry-about-him-gordon-its-a-oneman-show-8734396.html
  • Total Politics, 26th July

    The Confessions is in Total Politics today: total politics Culture picks: From Gordon Brown to Darwinism by Sam Macrory 25.07.2013 The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Written and directed by Kevin Toolis Where did it all go wrong for Gordon Brown? Who does he blame for his downfall? Why did the man who had sought the role of prime minister for so long end up occupying 10 Downing Street for such little time? These questions, asked frequently by journalists and MPs with varying degrees of mischief, are now being posed in a new play: The Confessions of Gordon Brown. Full article: http://www.totalpolitics.com/life/385187/culture-picks-from-gordon-brownto-darwinism.thtml

  • Scotsman, 24th July

    The Scotsman     Kevin Toolis: No price to put on passion As the Irish struggle showed, the desire for independence comes from the heart and comes before all else; questions of policy and economic issues are largely irrelevant, writes Kevin Toolis Read full article here: http://www.scotsman.com/news/kevin-toolis-no-price-to-put-on-passion-1-3011477

  • Huffington Post, 23rd July

    huffington-post-logo       In the Huffington Post today an article by The Confessions of Gordon Brown writer Kevin Toolis ‘Is There Anything to Say in Drama About Politics When All the Drama Has Been Carefully Squeezed Out of Real Politics?‘ 23/07/2013   IIan westn the olden days before catch up TV the annual Labour and Tory party conferences were guaranteed political barn fests. Revolts amongst the delegates, errant trade union bosses, and pro-hanging would-be Tory MPs were as commonplace as bare breasted women in HBO’s Games of Thrones. Passion and politics mattered. Read full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kevin-toolis/is-there-anything-to-say-_b_3638866.html

  • The Times, 23rd July

    The-Times-logoTimes Diary, TMS 23rd July 2013 FLASH OF GENIUS It is easy for actors to get distracted by the behaviour of their audience .  Mobile phones and rustling sweet papers can put you off your stride, but not quite as much as being flashed at. After a stiflingly hot preview of The Confessions of Gordon Brown in London, which transfers to Edinburgh next week, Ian Grieve, who plays the former Prime Minister, was introduced to the audience.  “You made my night,” he said to Jemma Churchill, an actress who was recently in Upstairs Downstairs and was sitting in the front row. Ms Churchill had been flapping her maxi-dress in an effort to keep cool and gave Grieve what he called a “Sharon Stone moment”.

  • Daily Record, 21 July 2013

    dailyrecordlogo2012The Confessions of Gordon Brown writer Kevin Toolis comments on Tony Blair in the middle east yesterday in the Daily Record ‘Tony Blair’s greatest achievement after six years as special envoy to the Middle East? Both sides detest him‘   By 21st July 2013 Extract: “Terrorism expert Kevin Toolis said: “The invasion of Iraq was the biggest foreign policy disaster of the post-war period…Toolis, who has written Edinburgh Fringe play The Confessions of Gordon Brown, said history will soon forget Blair’s role as Middle East envoy. He added: “Blair will be just another passing potentate, of which the Middle East has many, from King Herod onwards.” Read the full article here: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blairs-greatest-achievement-after-2071869

  • The Courier, 20th July 2013

    The CourierShakespearean tragic figure’ Gordon Brown subject of new one-man play By Kieran Andrews, 20 July 2013 By switching from describing him as “a great man” to “our greatest failure”, you would be forgiven for thinking Kevin Toolis is confused about Gordon Brown. However, the Emmy-nominated Scots writer and director is sure the complexities of the Fife MP’s time as Prime Minister make him the perfect subject of a one-man play about leadership. Perth-born Ian Grieve plays the Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy representative in the show, the Confessions of Gordon Brown, which is running at the Edinburgh Festival next month. Read full article here: http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/politics/shakespearean-tragic-figure-gordon-brown-subject-of-new-one-man-play-1.113884

  • Herald Scotland, 16th July

    Herald-logoInterview: Kevin Toolis, author of a new play about Gordon Brown.  Tuesday 16 July 2013 As tragic heroes go, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s downfall was one of the most public examples of vaulting ambition gone wrong. This is gold dust for drama, which award-winning journalist and filmmaker Kevin Toolis has taken full advantage of in his forthcoming Edinburgh Festival Fringe play, The Confessions Of Gordon Brown. While this solo work, performed by Ian Grieve, is ostensibly about Brown, as Toolis explains there’s a lot going on beyond the purely biographical. Read more on: http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts-ents/stage/interview-kevin-toolis-author-of-a-new-play-about-gordon-brown.21617191

  • The Times, 16th July 2013

    The-Times-logoIn the Times today: TMS: Times Diary: WAGES OF SPIN “Only a few days after Ed Milliband called for transparency in politics, Labour has slipped back into its old ways of censorship.  The makers of a play satirising the last Prime Minister have been told that they will not be allowed to advertise it at the Labour Conference in Brighton. Article: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article3817332.ece The ad they tried to ban!: Gordon Labour Conference3N_Correct dates_22ndjuly

  • Daily Mail, 15th July 2013

    Daily_Mail ANDREW PIERCE: Labour gets an attack of stage fright PUBLISHED 14 July 2013 “There was a rare appearance by Gordon Brown in the Commons last week, as he made only his third speech since standing down as Prime Minister in 2010.  He got to his feet during a 30-minute adjournment debate at the end of the day’s business when MPs raise constituency matters. But the low-profile Brown is set for a starring role during the Labour Party conference in Brighton, despite the best efforts of the Labour leadership not to let anyone know. A new play — The Confessions Of Gordon Brown — is being staged outside the conference zone at The Old Courtroom.”

  • The Sun, 17th June 2013

    The-Sun     ‘Play tells tale of PM Gordon’s ‘paranoia’’ By PAUL THORNTON 17th June 2013 GORDON Brown will be portrayed as “obsessive and paranoid” in a new show about his ill-fated spell as Prime Minister. Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/4971939/Play-tells-tale-og-PM-Gordons-paranopia.html

  • The Independent 13th June 2013

    The Independent     ‘Premier performance: Gordon Brown’s Fall From Power Inspire’s New Play’ by Alice Jones 13/6/13   “Kevin Toolis tells me,,,”Ed Balls was particularly forthcoming. But his failure to confirm things I knew to be true was intriguing in itself. Brown simply had a mesmerising power over his court.”” For the full article go to: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/premier-performance-gordon-browns-fall-from-power-inspires-new-play-8657628.html

  • Whitehall 1212, June 2013

  • The Telegraph, 12th June 2013

    The Telegraph A week’s a long time in political drama’ By Dominic Cavendish 12 Jun 2013 “Kevin Toolis’s imminent, well-researched examination of the previous administration The Confessions of Gordon Brown, coming to the Edinburgh Fringe” Read the full article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-news/10116754/A-weeks-a-long-time-in-political-drama.html 

  • Fife Today, 13th June 2013

    Fife Free Press Confessions of a PM – set for Fringe debut’ 13/6/13 “In office, Brown struggled with himself and the pace of decision-making required of the office of British Prime Minister.” Read the full article here: http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/local-headlines/confessions-of-a-pm-set-for-fringe-debut-1-2965027

  • The Independent, 12th June 2013

    ‘Andy McSmith’s Diary: Why we have one good reason for being thankful for Gordon Brown…’  by Andy McSmith 12/6/13 Poor old Gordon Brown. Scottish television has just shown an extract from a play by Kevin Toolis, The Confessions of Gordon Brown, that will have its premiere at the Edinburgh Festival. Its premise is that Gordon Brown was our greatest failure as Prime Minister in 200 years. Part of the Brown legacy is that we never had a referendum on whether to join the euro. He and Tony Blair were locked in a power struggle over that issue 10 years ago this week. Blair wanted us to join; Brown wanted to keep us out. On 11 June 2003, Alastair Campbell noted in his diary: “Things haven’t worked out on the euro and TB was pretty fed up… The judgement was settling that GB basically thwarted him.” Read full article here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/andy-mcsmiths-diary-why-we-have-one-good-reason-for-being-thankful-for-gordon-brown-8654598.html The Independent

  • The Scotsman, 11th June 2013

    The Scotsman Terrorism and the Challenges for MI5 by Kevin Toolis 11/6/13 “FROM the IRA to the Islamist killers at Woolwich, terrorism – and the threat of terrorism – has been and always will be with us. The Woolwich attack, rightly, has focused attention once more on the work of MI5 and raised many troubling questions as to how the alleged suspects were able to plan and brazenly carry out their “lone wolf” terrorist attack. Yet again, it appears as if a terrorist attack has been perpetrated on British soil by individuals who were certainly known to MI5 but whose actions – like those of the 7/7 bombers – the security organisation seems powerless to prevent….” Full article here: http://www.scotsman.com/news/kevin-toolis-terrorism-and-the-challenge-for-mi5-1-2961268

  • STV, 11th June 2013

    stv On Scotland Tonight on Monday 11th June Ian Grieve performs an extract from the play, followed by a discussion with Kevin Toolis about the play and it’s themes. Watch the whole segment here: http://news.stv.tv/scotland/228914-why-did-gordon-brown-struggle-to-find-success-as-prime-minister/ 

  • The Edinburgh Reporter, 30th May 2013

    edinburgh reporter   The Confessions of Gordon Brown is featured in The Edinburgh Reporter’s Roundup of what’s coming up at this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival Full article here: http://www.theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2013/05/edinburgh-festival-fringe-2013-bigger-better-and-brighter/ 

  • The Guardian, 28th May 2013

    ‘Diary: What do you give the ex-PM who has everything? Bananas and a caffeine shot to keep him going’ Hugh Muir’s 27/5/13 “Rare to see New Labour’s other history man, Gordon Brown, at Westminster. But if he will not speak his wisdom from the Commons, we may savour him as portrayed on the political stage. Heading for the London theatre, the Edinburgh Fringe and Labour conference is The Confessions of Gordon Brown, a play by the Emmy-nominated writer Kevin Toolis that promises to expose “the darkest secrets of being prime minister, the stab-in-the-back plotting, the betrayals and, most importantly – the hair gel.” To replicate the spirit of Gordon’s time in office, the lights would go out and the curtain would fall down.” Read full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/27/hugh-muir-diary-tony-blair guardian

  • The Scotsman, 30th April 2013

    The Scotsman

    Kevin Toolis: Gordon Brown’s image problem’ By KEVIN TOOLIS, Published on 30/04/2013

    The fall of a great man and how we choose our leaders is the theme of a new play by Kevin Toolis Love him or loathe him, Gordon Brown was our greatest failure as prime minister in the last 200 years. Even three years after his fall, the reasons why this superbly capable, moral man failed so badly in the office of Prime Minister are of burning political relevance as both the independence referendum and the next UK general election loom. Brown’s failure was a failure of leadership. Despite his vast economic expertise, he could not persuade the British people that their future was brighter under his command. Ultimately, Scottish independence too will also be decided not by scrutiny of a mass of conflicting economic arguments but on faith in the leadership of Alex Salmond. Who we choose to rule over us, and what we expect from the leader, is a perennial question and is as old as human history itself. For the last three years, and after a lifetime of political reporting across the globe, I started investigating how the concept of the modern leader is created and constructed. And why Gordon Brown, Tory leaders Iain Duncan Smith and William Hague, Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot all failed as potential prime ministers. The result is a play The Confessions of Gordon Brown that will be staged at the Pleasance in August at the Festival. The Confessions is a broad work of political satire as well as a careful study of all of the necessary elements, and hidden arts, of political leadership. For the full article go to: http://www.scotsman.com/news/kevin-toolis-gordon-brown-s-image-problem-1-2913782




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