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  • 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 +44(0)207 091 7005