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Oona King’s return to the spotlight

26 February 2013

12:44 PM

26 February 2013

12:44 PM

The Lords’ terrace was transformed into a theatre yesterday evening to stage an adaptation of Blair Babe Oona King’s House Music diaries, which recount her career as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow between 1997 and 2005. Many of New Labour’s faded hopes, like Ruth Kelly, turned up to roll back the years and remember the good times; although those wanting to catch a glimpse of Gordon had to make to do with an actor, because, of the Great Man himself, there was no sign (again).

Ed Stoppard and comedian David Schneider were treading the makeshift boards in this dramatisation. They nailed compelling impersonations of Brown, Blair and George Galloway (King’s nemesis), all of which raised laughs and reminiscence. There was plenty of colour besides that connected to these pantomime villains. My favourite moment starred Tracey, a constituent of King’s. This irksome resident of Spitalfields complained of all politicians being time-servers who never fulfilled their constituents’ wishes. Her constant frustration was such that she once wielded a brick during King’s surgery. Her catchphrase was ‘Whhhhy aren’t you listening, Oona?’ The voice’s familiar twang should have been immediately familiar, but who knew that Tracey Emin had time for local politics in the late ‘90s?

Incidentally, David Schneider told me that he is taking some time out to write a book about Twitter. My suggestion of doing the whole thing in sentences of 140 characters or less provided something of a Eureka moment for one of the brains behind Alan Partridge.

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