Sunderland MP’s memoirs back on stage

A scene from the play.
A scene from the play.
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A PLAY based on the diaries of a former Sunderland MP has proved so successful that it’s enjoying a return to the spotlight.

After its debut success earlier this year, A Walk On Part, inspired by Chris Mullin’s diaries, is being staged at Newcastle’s Live Theatre once more.

Chris Mullin being interviewed at a Durham Book Festival in the Town Hall.

Chris Mullin being interviewed at a Durham Book Festival in the Town Hall.

Adapted for the stage by Michael Chaplin, the play originally covered the last and most turbulent decade in New Labour.

The revised production includes a new opening segment chronicling the 1997 to 1999 years of New Labour which has been taken from former Sunderland South MP latest volume of diaries entitled A Walk-On Part: Diaries 1994-1999.

Published in August they diaries are a follow-up to his critically acclaimed A View From the Foothills and Decline and Fall which have been described by many observers to offer the clearest insight into the Blair and Brown years.

Speaking about the diaries, David Cameron said: “Every once in a while, political diaries emerge that are so irreverent and so insightful that they are destined to be handed out as leaving presents across Whitehall for years to come.”

Starring John Hodgkinson as author, journalist and ex-MP Chris Mullin, the play received rave reviews from audience members when it had its world premiere at Live Theatre.

Between them the cast take on the challenge of bringing more than 100 characters to life, including two former Prime Ministers (Tony Blair and John Major), John Prescott, Cherie Blair, Nick Soames and Hilary Armstrong as well as a host of locals including a Durham taxi driver, a Sunderland head teacher and a family of Ukranian refugees.

* A Walk On Part is at Live Theatre until November 12. Tickets cost from £10 to £18. To book, call Live Theatre’s box office on 232 1232 or visit www.live.org.uk.

After its run at Live Theatre A Walk On Part heads to Soho Theatre in London for a four-week run opening on Tuesday, November 15.

Twitter: @Sunechokaty