Sunday, November 11, 2012
I TOMMY , THE RISE AND FALL OF TOMMY SHERIDAN at the KINGS THEATRE GLASGOW
Hell hath no fury than a socialist scorned.This is a play about Socialism , Sex and Erjurypi , as they say in Pollok.
This play came to stage not to Praise Sheridan , but rip the pish out of him.
When i first heard Tommy Sheridan he gave a soapbox speech at a protest against the JNF about his most detested aspect of politicians - Hypocrisy.
I once sat behind him and his Mother at a comedy fundraiser evening at the Pavilion Theatre , an evening i saw Mark Thomas and Mark Steel for the first time.The event was also attended by Trade Union leaders Bob Crow and Mark Serwotka , who enthused an inspirational rare achievement of an unified Left was , and how they would marvel if it could be replicated in England.It is odd that nearly a decade later there was no unification of the Left block down South and the very Unions still give political levies to New Labour despite the horrendous unnecessary Wars , not one of Thatchers Trade union Laws being repealed and new Leader Milibrand publicly disowning calls for Trade union strikes over cuts.
In the subsequent elections for the Scottish Parliament the SSP had a lot of goodwill from the mainstream public for their anti-war stance and concern for social welfare issues such as providing a costed , attainable programme to provide a free nutritious meal for every child in Scotland.A fairly unambitious programme that was to be ultimately scuppered by an alliance of the ruling Labour party ( who could support the war but drew the line to feeding Scotland Children) and the opposition Conservative party.
In the space of one parliament the SSP went from an astonishing 6 members to a more manageable None.This play is sourced from the material of the party election co-ordinator Alan McCombes which yielded the Book Downfall as to why that very Left style implosion happened.According to the Book a prime reason being the court cases and the resultant divisiveness caused within the party from Sheridan suing for libel , a case won then lost on the basis that either several members of the SSP committed perjury , or Sheridan did in the testimony in the earlier trial.Calling his colleagues scabs after winning the initial case , then forming a separate party called Solidarity , nice name for a breakaway group did not help matters , leaving absolutely no room for compromise.
The denouement was the Golden Goose of the socialism turned to rust giving birth to a still born dead duck that killed the parents.And Thats Socialism.
The play stars comedian Des Mclean , a man with a face that makes you howl with laughter before he even says a word.
The rest of the cast background details can be found in this website blog entry.
You can get more background of the play and the story behind it from its dedicated website.
And below you can see the BBC documentary by Investigative Journalist Mark Daly which exposed filmed evidence that led to a second trial which went against Sheridan and the quite horrendous treatment of his Wife who was found to be innocent of all charges and at no point violated her rights which should have been respected.