Part political thriller and part personal drama, The President’s Holiday is a gripping and deeply moving play about Gorbachev’s final hours as President of the USSR.
One late summer afternoon, a successful middle-aged man sits peacefully with his wife on the veranda of their summer house. Half an hour later, the building is swarming with secret police and heavily armed officers, and he and his family are in fear of their lives.
The man is Mikhail Gorbachev, the President of the USSR, and the date is 18 August 1991.
Penny Gold’s play The President’s Holiday draws on the diaries of Raisa Gorbachev to tell the story of a family under siege and an idealist who unwittingly destroys everything for which he has fought.
It was first staged at Hampstead Theatre, London, in 2008.
‘Tense political family drama’
— Sunday Times