On 14 April 2010, three weeks before the general election, David Hare was on stage for a Platform talk at the Lyttelton Theatre and spoke of a frustrating failure. His play The Absence of War, premiered in the Olivier in 1993, had fictionalized Labour’s doomed 1992 election campaign, which ended with John Major still in Number Ten, and was followed by Neil Kinnock’s resignation as party leader, and, under John Smith and Tony Blair, the birth of New Labour. Hare told his Platform audience that he had been unable to convince any producing theatre to revive The Absence of War for the 2010 poll: “It is about the roots of New Labour and, now that we assume New Labour is coming to an end in three weeks’ time, it would be fantastic to show that play.”
What was 'The Agency'? What are PMQs? How do party leadership elections work? Find out more about parliament, its history and the people who have walked its halls in our short guide to the terms referenced in David Hare's The Absence of War.