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8 June @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Written By: James Graham (Other plays include Ink, Dear England, This House)

Creative Team: Directed by Kym Clayton

Labour of Love is a political comedy set in the local constituency office of British Labour MP David Lyons in North Nottinghamshire in the twenty-seven-year period between summer 1990 and spring 2017.
David Lyons MP cares about modernisation and “electability”, but his constituency agent (i.e. chief of staff) Jean Whittaker cares about principles and her community. The action of the play is set far away from the Westminster bubble in the party’s traditional northern heartlands, and explores the clash of philosophy, culture, and class against the backdrop of the Labour Party over a period of 25 years, as it moves from the time of labour leaders Kinnock through to Blair and Corbyn.
Although the play is about UK politics, it is written in a way that it evokes feelings about our own political system of party politics. Some themes are eternal!
The play begins on 9th June 2017, the early hours of the morning in a David Lyon’s constituency office. David waits anxiously with Jean for the results of the snap General Election, and the first reports suggest a hung parliament. Having been re-elected six times since 1990, David faces the possibility of finally being voted out while his party, despite some gains, looks likely to be denied victory for the third time in a row.
Why is Labour losing seats in its traditional northern heartland while winning ‘safe’ Conservative ones elsewhere? What’s shifted within the party and country as a whole? David and Jean have witnessed many changes within the Labour movement over the past three decades: the election of Tony Blair as leader in 1994 and the birth of ‘New Labour’; the party’s landslide victory in the 1997 General Election; reduced majorities in the 2001 and 2005 elections; Tony Blair stepping down in 2007; successive leaders, Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and now Jeremy Corbyn…
Through it all they’ve worked together side-by-side – David advocating the need for a new approach, Jean championing the old values. Despite their many differences, a grudging respect has grown between them, and, with it, affection. All this is pulled into sharp focus by the return of David’s ex-wife, Elizabeth, who suggests they give their marriage another try… Having guided the MP through six successive victories, is his fiery constituency agent prepared to see him lose now on the home front?
“… unexpectedly proven to be box office gold” ~ Time Out
“It is in fact startlingly funny, peppered with one-liners and jokes” ~ What’s On Stage
“And what makes this such a good and gripping piece of theatre is that it doesn’t preach us sermons about press ethics but leaves us to draw our own conclusions … It strikes me as a first-rate play” ~ Guardian
“…diligently researched and informative … an inventive hybrid of Much Ado About Nothing, Yes Minister and Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along” ~ The Evening Standard

Information Session:

Audition Information:

Audition Information #:0
Date: 08/06/2024
Time From – Time to: 11:00 – 14:00


Character Descriptions #:0
Gender: Male
Stage Age:
Role Information: Stage age late 40s-early 50s.
Cultured English accent. A Labour MP. A ‘few years younger’ than Jean, David was also born and brought up locally before winning a scholarship to Oxford University. Part of a new generation of Labour MPs, he’s keen to modernize the party, rebranding it in the hope of making it more electable after years in opposition. Jean’s concerned he’s more interested in image than content, but she recognises his passion and pragmatism. 534 cues
Character Descriptions #:1
Gender: Female
Stage Age:
Role Information: Stage age late 40s-early 50s.
A constituency agent. Not a cultured English accent – more regional but not too broad. Actor playing this role will need to learn a few sentences in Cantonese. Born and bred in North Nottinghamshire, Jean’s been a card-carrying member of the Labour Party since the age of 14. Described by David as ‘hard as nails’, she’s spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of the working-class left in her community. Her husband, a former miner, was the local Labour MP before ill health forced him to retire and David replaced him. 528 cues.
Character Descriptions #:2
Gender: Female
Stage Age:
Role Information: Stage age late 40s-early 50s.
David’s wife. Cultured English accent. A lawyer. Not a local, Elizabeth reluctantly followed her husband to his new constituency, although she thinks they should have waited for a seat closer to Westminster, Number 10 and, ultimately, a place in the cabinet – she has ambitions for her husband’s career to match her own and they don’t start in North Nottinghamshire. 156 cues.
Character Descriptions #:3
Role Name: LEN PRIOR
Gender: Male
Stage Age:
Role Information: Stage age late 40s-early 50s.
A local councillor and party worker. Middle-class English accent. London born, nominally middle-class, with a slightly affected working-class tone, Len is Secretary of the local Labour Party, eventually becoming Leader of the Council. A Fabian scholar, he’s always had his doubts about David’s loyalties to the grassroot party members, his frustrations barely concealing his own political ambitions. 82 cues
Character Descriptions #:4
Gender: Female
Stage Age:
Role Information: Stage age 30s.
A constituent and party worker. Regional English accent. Another local, Margot started her working life as a travel agent, campaigning for the local Labour Party in her spare time, before securing a position on the council and eventually becoming Deputy Leader. 58 cues.
Character Descriptions #:5
Role Name: MR SHEN
Gender: Male
Stage Age:
Role Information: Stage age 40s.
A businessman investor. Actor playing this role will be of Asian ethnicity. From China, Mr. Shen’s in the final stages of choosing a European city in which to build his new train plant, thereby boosting employment and the economy. David argues that his constituency is the ideal place: a prime location with excellent transport links and, most importantly, a willing workforce. Securing this multi-million-pound deal would also secure the area’s future. 23 cues

More Information at: https://www.facebook.com/stjudesplayersinc/
Wed 2 (Preview), Thurs 3 and 10, Frid 4 and 11 April 2025 @ 7.30pm
Matinees Sat 5 and 12 April 2025 @ 2.00pm

St Jude’s Grundy Hall, 444 Brighton Road, Brighton, SA 5048.

A group audition will be held on Saturday 8 June 2024, commencing at 11.00am. All auditionees are required to be present at that time. Please arrive 10 minutes earlier. Note- Prior emailed registration is necessary to audition.
The audition will include reading/moving excerpts from the play, with relevant pages emailed to you several days prior to the audition once you have registered.

St Jude’s Church, 444 Brighton Road, Brighton, SA 5048 (church is adjacent to Grundy Hall, through side gate).

Tuesdays & Thursdays 7.15-9.30pm, Sundays 1.15pm-5.00pm, although there may be some variation to dates and times.
First rehearsal Sunday 19th January 2025, or thereabouts. (Please note the rehearsal period will overlap the Fringe Festival/ Festival of Arts.)
All rehearsals at St Jude’s Grundy Hall, 444 Brighton Road, BRIGHTON SA 5048

Contact: Kym Clayton


8 June
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Category:
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St. Jude’s Players
0436 262 628
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Drama, Comedy


St. Jude’s Players
444 Brighton Rd
Brighton, South Australia 5048 Australia
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0436 262 628
View Venue Website