David Hare's Fictional Politics



    1. Professor of Political History and Director of the Centre for British Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham.
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David Hare is Britain's leading political dramatist. His Gethsemane premiered in November 2008, amidst anticipation that the play would ‘crucify’ New Labour. Gethsemane is in fact one of a number of fictionalisations of New Labour produced since 1997. These works have generally held up the party under Tony Blair's leadership to unmitigated criticism. Gethsemane certainly took Blair's premiership to task. However, despite increasing popular cynicism about Westminster politicians, Hare also suggested that politics remains a potential means through which honourable ends might still be achieved. However, already primed by the prevailing hostility to New Labour encouraged by earlier fictionalisations, few of those who reviewed Gethsemane noted Hare's tentative message of hope.