“There is no final victory, there is no final defeat. Just the same battles which have to be fought over and over and over again.”

An old man sits in a room faced with a collection of recording devices that he has collected over his long and eventful life. He opens a drawer, takes out a pipe, unscrews his flask and pours himself the first cup of tea of the day. For more than fifty years he has been recording everything that has happened to and around him, but today he has decided to make his last tape.

Award-winning playwright Andy Barrett and director Giles Croft revive a timely play based on the diaries of one of Britain’s most respected, divisive and celebrated politicians. After a sold-out run at Nottingham Playhouse Philip Bretherton reprises his role as Tony Benn, revealing the struggle of a man who – having found himself no longer ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ but something of a national treasure – realises that it is time to gracefully withdraw from the fight. If only it was that easy.

Andy Barrett said: “The timing feels right to bring Tony Benn’s story back to life. With a national debate about the kind of society that might be shaped ready to be unleashed once the Brexit dust settles, and the Labour party using the word socialism with increasing confidence, it’s clear that Benn’s time as a political thinker has come again. He’s as relevant now as he’s ever been.”

Accompanying Exhibition – Power: Missiles, Miners & Monarchy

Tony Benn’s unique voice portraits (Sonograms) by socio-political artist and activist Tracey Moberly will also be on display in The Common Room at Omnibus Theatre. Exhibited back in 2005, this is the first time that these large voice portraits celebrating his life work have been on public view since. Sonograms have been used by scientists involved in audio analysis, in areas such as voice recognition and bird song. Tracey worked closely with Tony Benn and used the same technique to capture her favourite key moments from his words and rendered them as sonic visual artworks on canvas.

Tony’s Last Tape is on at Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London, SW4 0LH from Tue 2nd – Sat 20th April. Time: 7.30pm, Sundays 4pm (excl Mon). Admission: £16, £13 Conc.

Phone: 020 7498 0544 

https://www.omnibus-clapham.org/tonys-last-tape/

Photos: Robert Day