The Production


Gordon Brown hilariously exposes the darkest secrets of being Prime Minister, the stab-in-the-back plottings, the betrayals and most importantly - the hair gel. Love him or loathe him, Gordon Brown was our greatest failure at being Prime Minister in 200 years. In a candid portrait of life inside Downing Street Gordon at last reveals what it takes to knife your way to the top and rule a nation. And how his dream of power all went wrong. Brand new one man play by acclaimed Scots Emmy-nominated writer and director Kevin Toolis in a manyrivers production.

Biographical Information

Ian Grieve – ACTOR

Ian Grieve westminster

Ian Grieve as Gordon Brown

Ian first trained as an actor at the Guildford School of Drama, where he won the Max Adrian Acting Cup. After this, he went on to become the director of productions at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, before leaving 2003 to join the tour of a Traverse Theatre production of People Next Door, which went to Edinburgh, UK, Germany, New York and across Eastern Europe.

Ian then became the creative director of theatre for Horsecross Arts (Perth Theatre) from 2004-2011 and is now one of the most experienced and sought-after creative artists in Scotland.  He has worked as an actor and director in most of Scotland’s theatres including: the Traverse, Royal Lyceum, Dundee Rep and Perth theatre, with roles in productions of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hedda Gabler and The Ladykillers. 



Kevin Toolis

Kevin Toolis

Kevin was born and brought up in the Pleasance district of Edinburgh. He studied Philosophy and English at Edinburgh University and was a member of the Traverse Theatre Club. As a journalist Toolis worked in the House of Commons as a press gallery reporter and then reported on political conflicts and terrorism for publications including The New York Times, The Scotsman, The Glasgow Herald, The Guardian and The Daily Mirror. In 2014 Toolis  won the BAFTA for Best Single Drama for MI5 spy thriller Complicit, which he produced for Channel 4.  As a documentary director has made a series of acclaimed films on terrorism including ‘Cult of the Suicide Bomber’ series and was nominated for an International Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for the programme ‘Cult of Death: Suicide Bombers’ for the Discovery Channel.  He has also worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. The Confessions of Gordon Brown is his first play.


Dea Birkett

Dea Birkett

Dea Birkett is a co-founder of manyriversfilms and the company’s creative director. Dea is an award-winning author of seven books, winner of the Somerset Maugham prize, and one of the UK’s best known travel writers. As a filmmaker she presented and produced The Devil Amongst Us for Channel 4 and worked on numerous other projects with the company. As a Guardian writer Dea has written about and investigated subjects as diverse as Britain’s fairs, school bullying, sex scandals on Pitcairn Island, false rape allegations, Artic pilots and human cloning. Dea is a regular columnist in the national press in the UK and a commentator on the BBC. Dea is also the founder of Kids in Museums.

ManyRivers Productions

manyrivers productions is a theatre production company based in London which produces exceptional theatre for a UK audience. The Artistic Director is Kevin Toolis, an acknowledged terrorism expert.  Kevin studied and reported on conflicts in Africa, Ireland and the Middle East before becoming a successful Writer and Director. He has written screenplays for Universal Pictures and Channel 4, as well as a number of theatrical productions. manyrivers productions is the theatre arm of manyriversfilms, an Emmy-nominated TV Production Company that has produced:

  • ‘Complicit’ – Channel 4 Drama
  • Panorama: The Trauma Industry – BBC One
  • ‘Car Bomb’ – Channel 4
  • ‘Cult of the Suicide Bomber’ -Channel 4
  • ‘Dispatches: The Big Heist’ – Channel 4
  • ‘Circus Days Circus Nights’ – Channel 4
  • ‘The Devil Amongst Us’ – Channel 4

Among other productions for broadcasters in the UK. More information about this company can be found at manyrivers productions is committed to producing theatre which engages and inspires a broad audience.

Tour Dates & Tickets


  • 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