It’s rather depressing that a 1968 play satirising the absurdity of the old Etonian belief that they are born to rule, is still quite so relevant today. But Peter Barnes’ revived play, The Ruling Class starring James McAvoy, is one that would make many present members of the Cabinet (and City Hall) a little uncomfortable.
The play, which was also made into a film starring Peter O’Toole, is about the insane 14th Earl of Gurney (the 13th dies in a tragic autoerotic accident) and the struggles he faces to take his place at the top of society. His main obstacle being that he think's he's God and in a brilliant moment, when someone asks him how he knows this, he replies "When I pray to Him, I find I am talking to myself.” Good point.
The play, directed by Jamie Lloyd, is a manic trip through insanity and the establishment, with a crucifixion, murders and James McAvoy riding half naked on a unicycle. It’s funny, very odd and well worth a look.
ShortList readers (that’s you) can get your lucky little hands on some of the last remaining tickets by logging on to trafalgartransformed.com from 10am on 12 March and entering promo code SHORTLIST when prompted.
This extra special performance of The Ruling Class will be at 7.30pm on 19 March and will come with the rather delicious bonus of a complimentary pre-show tipple of Ballantine’s whiskey.
Tickets range from £29.50-£69.50.
Thank the Lord.