White House Murder Case causes much jubilation in Richmond
Dark political satire The White House Murder Case is in the middle of a month-long run at the Orange Tree Theatre.
The play has never been seen before on the UK stage, and fittingly takes place during a United States presidential election.
Written in 1970, it was also set about 40 years in the future – so today.
Bruce Alexander, who plays US President Hale, says: “It’s an unusual play and audiences seem to like it. It’s very funny. They seem to be having a lovely time.”
The play takes place at a time when the United States is at war and, when wrongly deployed nerve gas catches the wind and kills 750 American soldiers, the president must spin this news to the voting public.
Then, as the soldiers are dying and the White House tries to fabricate the truth, a murder is committed.
Mr Alexander says: “It’s a piece that’s very satirically and amusingly done. And it’s not been done very much, so it’s a rare opportunity to see it.”
It was written by celebrated American cartoonist, playwright and novelist Jules Feiffer – the recipient of an Academy Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
Mr Alexander says: “The play is relevant. It’s swift, fast-paced and it’s great fun. It makes for a great evening at the theatre.”
Best known for playing Superintendant Mullet in television’s A Touch of Frost, Bruce Alexander has more recently been concentrating on theatre work, and earlier this year appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Written on the Heart at the Duchess Theatre.
He is no stranger to the Orange Tree Theatre, where he has appeared twice before, in The Company Man and The Beggar’s Opera.
He says: “It’s a unique space – the only purpose-built theatre in the round which London has got. And it’s great for a play because you can create a reality in front of people’s eyes.”
The White House Murder Case, Orange Tree Theatre October 10 to November 10. Tickets cost £5 to £22, and are available from orangetreetheatre.co.uk.