Revolution led by... a grey suit? Comedy puts Clement Attlee's life on stage

Roger Rose as Clem Attlee amd Lynne O’Sullivan as Violet Attlee in A Modest Little Man

Roger Rose as Clem Attlee amd Lynne O’Sullivan as Violet Attlee in A Modest Little Man - Credit: Mark Thomas

A feted play about the life of Clement Attlee makes its long-awaited return to Highgate Village this month.

A Modest Little Man, by Francis Beckett is at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, from August 31 to September 5.

It sold out for two weeks in its first run, at Bread and Roses in Clapham, January 2019, and was sold out again for its second run in October the same year, at the Highgate theatre.

Its return in April 2020 was postponed until October, then April 2021, and finally to September 2021.   

“Francis Beckett’s comic play, A Modest Little Man, offers a splendid illustration of Attlee’s towering absence of ego,” according to Broadway World


You may also want to watch:


The play begins in May 1945, when Britain celebrated victory and cheered Winston Churchill. But revolution was in the air and the Labour leader was the man who had to deliver it. But how could he? Clement Attlee sounded like a provincial bank manager, in the days when banking was still a reputable profession. He was “a modest little man with plenty to be modest about”. He sat in his grey suit and puffed his pipe.

Tickets are available from www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com or telephone 020 8340 3488. Or in person at the theatre box office.

Jessica Bichard as Jennie Lee, Clive Greenwood as Nye Bevan in A Modest Little Man

Jessica Bichard as Jennie Lee, Clive Greenwood as Nye Bevan in A Modest Little Man - Credit: Mark Thomas

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter