Review: Three Days in May, starring Warren Clarke, Theatre Royal Brighton

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WELL known actor Warren Clarke stole the show when he played Winston Churchill in tension filled political thriller Three Days in May (until October 1).

His gruff voice was perfectly suited to depicting the cigar smoking and cognac drinking Prime Minister.

He even pulled off Churchill’s speech impediment and signature varying cadence which he used to great effect in public speaking.

The play centres around three days in May, 1940, when the war cabinet is faced with a terrible decision.

Should they surrender now and seek the best terms with Hitler and Mussolini they can, as the French are planning to do?

Or should they fight, even though there is a chance they could lose, thereby perhaps securing even worse terms for the country?

We see how difficult a responsibility it is for Churchill, Lord Halifax and Neville Chamberlain, as well as the rest of the war cabinet.

In essence they all want the best for the people, but this small group of men, disagree as to how to protect their fellow citizens and some quick political footwork is needed to save the day.

The action stays in one room, with clever lighting and sound used to indicate when the characters have stepped outside into the garden or the street.

This device serves to intensify the brooding electricity as the fate of the country lies in their hands.

There were strong performances from the whole cast, authentic dialogue and rousing speeches from Churchill.

We are also shown a very positive portrayal of Churchill, who is depicted as a great strategic thinker and hero.

Not to be missed.