Faustus: That Damned Woman

22nd Jan 2020 - 4th Apr 2020

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16th Oct 2021 - 6th Nov 2021

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The Absence of War

The Absence of War Trailer

By David Hare. Directed by Jeremy Herrin.

A Headlong, Rose Theatre, Kingston and Sheffield Theatres co-production

It's now or never for George Jones. The charismatic leader of the Labour Party needs to get out of opposition and into Number Ten. Plagued by a hostile media, beset by divisions in his party and haunted by his own demons, George has three weeks to convince the Great British Public that he's their man. But how much compromise is he prepared to make? How can you truly appeal to the man in the street from the House of Commons? And which tie should he wear for Prime Minister's Questions?

Headlong presents a vigorous new production of David Hare’s funny, stinging political drama on a timely national tour during the build up to the 2015 General Election.

David Hare is one of England’s foremost playwrights and screenwriters. His plays include Plenty, Skylight, The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens. He has received two Academy Award nominations for The Hours and The Reader.

Jeremy Herrin is Artistic Director of Headlong. His recent work includes the RSC world premiere of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall/Bring up the Bodies, The Nether (Headlong/Royal Court) and This House (National Theatre). Headlong’s recent productions include 1984, Chimerica, Spring Awakening and The Seagull. David Hare and Jeremy Herrin have previously collaborated on South Downs (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End) and The Vertical Hour (Royal Court).

The Absence of War is a co-production by Headlong, Rose Theatre Kingston and Sheffield Theatres, and was part of Hare's trilogy of state of the nation plays which includes Racing Demon and Murmuring Judges.

  • People are waiting to hear from you. That's the feeling out there. They want to see you go for it. They want to see you take the whole rotten thing on.
  • ★★★★ Jeremy Herrin’s persuasive, slickly staged Headlong revival The Stage
  • ★★★★ Hare’s play is a private tragedy as well as a political analysis... Reece Dinsdale plays the leader excellently as a Sheffield native blessed with a bouncy likability and loyalty to his cohorts. The Guardian