Chamberlain: Peace in Our Time
Searchlight Theatre Company
Greenside @ Nicolson Square
Within the cosy confines of Greenside's Emerald Theatre, standing in for a BBC studio in the autumn of 1939, the audience are regaled with the rich baritones of Colin Alexander, with the promise that the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, will shortly be addressing the country live on the radio. Meanwhile, Chamberlain himself, is counting down the minutes till he must deliver the fateful news that Britain is about to be plunged once more into war.
Chamberlain is often looked down on in the modern day. The Prime Minister who promised peace, and delivered war. The man who would be supplanted by the more revered Churchill. This play, seeks to de-mythologise the man, showing his hubris and his humanity; contrasting his stiff exterior, with his care for his wife and his practicality to his subordinates.
David Leeson commands the role well and is never less than wholly believable. Whether lamenting to his aide, Jack (Alexander), or flashing back to triumphantly proclaiming "Peace For Our Time!" it's a forgiving look at the man, but one that never shirks from his failings.
It's thoroughly entertaining theatre, of the calibre that is to be expected from a theatre company like Searchlight. Well worth attending.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan