A fascinating portrait of Harold Macmillan in an epic play about the decline of British fortunes in the middle of the twentieth century.
Set against a back-drop of fading Empire, war, the Suez crisis, vintage champagne, adultery and vicious Tory politics at the Ritz, Never So Good paints the portrait of a brilliant, witty but complex man, at times comically and, in the end, tragically out of kilter with his times.
Harold Macmillan, the Eton-educated idealist who rushed, with Homer’s Iliad under his arm, to do his duty in the Grenadier Guards, is tormented by the harsh experiences of war and an unhappy marriage. His career in the 1930s is blocked by his loyalty to Winston Churchill, and he nearly loses his life in the Second World War. When at last he becomes Prime Minister he is brought down by the Profumo scandal.
Howard Brenton’s Never So Good was first performed in the Lyttelton auditorium of the National Theatre in March 2008, directed by Howard Davies and starring Jeremy Irons as Macmillan.
‘Gripping, compassionate and often delightfully comic… his finest achievement to date’