Satire that shines a light on the silly side of politics

An acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland production, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, will be performed at An Lanntair as part of a national tour.
The all-female cast of Exodus. Pic: Brian Hartley.The all-female cast of Exodus. Pic: Brian Hartley.
The all-female cast of Exodus. Pic: Brian Hartley.

“Exodus”, which has been described as “part social satire, part physical theatre and part comedy”, runs for 80 minutes and features a four-strong all-female cast.

It will be on at An Lanntair a week on Saturday (3rd September).

Very much a production for the age, the satirical play shines a light on politicians and their posturing and seeks to exposes their systematic deception and indifference to human suffering.

The official promotional offering says: “In her bid to become the country’s leader, Home Secretary Asiya Rao prepares to make a major policy announcement that will establish her as the front-runner of the political race.

“Alongside her cut-throat and calculating advisor Phoebe, she embarks on a publicity stunt starting with a photo shoot by the white cliffs of Dover. But rather than the tide washing her reputation clean, something else washes up… An omen or an opportunity? The women are determined to keep their eyes on the prize, no matter the cost, even if it’s a human one.”

The Scotsman’s respected theatre critic, Joyce MacMillan, wrote: “This 80-minute play seems so completely and perfectly of the moment that it might have been written this week, at the height of the current Tory Party leadership battle.

“The story revolves around Home Secretary Asiya Rao, a Priti Patel-like figure played with panache by Aryana Ramkhalawon; and with the Prime Minister’s career “on its last legs”, she and her ruthless media advisor Phoebe – a vicious and commanding Sophie Steer – are determined to burnish her image as the charismatic and ruthless far-right leader of her party’s dreams.

"The wheels begin to come off, though, when a live refugee baby bobs up in the waves at the Home Secretary’s feet; and from that moment on, it’s all The Thick Of It meets a Carry On film, as the train journey back to London – supposed to involve a flattering interview between Asiya and ambitious young Scottish journalist Tobi, played to perfection by Anna Russell Martin – collapses into a chaos of baby poo, bleeding nipples and attempted murder.”