Party Games!

An Yvonne Arnaud Original Production

Party Games!

By Michael McManus | Directed by Joanna Read


This hilariously acerbic new comedy-drama by political insider Michael McManus (Maggie & Ted), puts leadership on the ledge and goes inside the chaos of government to see whether advisers do advise and if ministers can decide.

Can one man, his punchy deputy, a Svengali spin doctor and some dodgy data unite the country? And what can his wife, the King and a large spider do to keep the lights on?

Read’s production hits all the right comic notes

The Stage (On Sheila's Island in 2022)

Starring Matthew Cottle (Game On, The Windsors), Debra Stephenson (Coronation Street, Dead Ringers), Ryan Early (Coronation Street, The Archers), Krissi Bohn (Coronation Street), Jason Callender (The Play That Goes Wrong in the West End), Natalie Dunne (The Third Man, Menier Chocolate Factory), and William Oxborrow (The Madness of George III, National Theatre).

About the writer

Michael McManus worked in Central Office while Margaret Thatcher and John Major were Prime Ministers and as a special adviser to a number of UK ministers between 1992 and 1995. He was then head of Ted Heath’s private office from 1995 to 2000 and the Conservative Party candidate for Watford in 2001.


Starring Matthew Cottle (Stan Laurel in the film Chaplin, Martin in BBC’s Game On, ITV’s Unforgotten, Dave in BBC’s Citizen Khan and Edward in Channel 4’s The Windsors) as Prime Minister John Waggner.

Debra Stephenson (Diane Powell in Playing the Field, Shell Dockley in Bad Girls, Frankie Baldwin in Coronation Street, The Impressions Show and Dead Ringers) as Deputy Leader Lisa Williams.

Ryan Early (Darren Vance in Coronation Street, Dan in Almost Never for CBBC and Lee Bryce in The Archers for BBC Radio 4) as spin doctor Seth Dickens

Natalie Dunne (Anna Schmidt in The Third Man at Menier Chocolate Factory, Your Christmas Or Mine? for Amazon, Trying for Apple TV and Locked Up Abroad for Disney+) as Anne Waggner, the Prime Minister’s wife.

Krissi Bohn (two years as Jenna Kamara in Coronation Street and a storyteller on the CBeebies series Treasure Champs and a series regular in the CBBC series Biff & Chip) as Private Secretary Candice Edwards.

Jason Callender (Upstart Crow and The Play That Goes Wrong in the West End, Malory Towers for the BBC and 4 O’Clock Club for CBBC) as would-be Chief of Staff Luke Roberts.

William Oxborrow (The Madness of GeorgeIII at the National Theatre, the title role in The Picture of Dorian Gray at Gate Theatre, Dublin, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and A Clockwork Orange for the RSC and The Clandestine Marriage and Guys and Dolls in the West End) playing multiple roles.

Debra Stephenson as voice of Medianne.

Shaun Chambers as Policeman & Understudy (Seth, Luke)

Alastair Chisholm as Understudy (John, Multiple Roles)

Erica Tavares–Kouassi as Understudy (Candice, Lisa, Anne)

Creative Team

Written by Michael McManus

Directed by Joanna Read

Designed by Francis O’Connor

Lighting Design by Chris Davey

Sound Designer and Composer Beth Duke

Assistant Director Haiqing Liang

Casting Director Jane Deitch

An Yvonne Arnaud Theatre original production.

See the UK tour details
Join the Director's Circle for behind the scenes access
Photo of the front of the theatre at night, lit up in purple and blue.

The Showgoers

A new social group for theatre-lovers

Do you sometimes wish you'd been to watch something, but didn't because you didn't want to go alone? Are you experiencing social isolation and want to meet new people or do you just love live theatre and want to share the experience with others? If you said yes to any of the above, The Showgoers is the group for you!

Come and meet others before the show, find out more about the production, enjoy a soft drink on us and socialise together in the interval, whilst also enjoying a great evening of entertainment.

Upcoming Performances:

Wed 8 May - Party Games!
Wed 5 Jun - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Wed 3 Jul - The 39 Steps
Starts at 7pm

Email to find out more

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Tickets from £29
Concessions from £13

The following concessions apply on standard tickets:

  • Students & Under 25s
  • Job Seekers, Pension Credit & Universal Credit recipients
  • Access

The following discounts apply on standard tickets:

  • Groups & Schools / Members

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Prices include all applicable fees & levies.
Find out more about our concessions & discounts.


Show Times

Thu 2 - Sat 11 May 2024
(Excl Sun 5 & Mon 6)

Evenings, 7.30pm

Sat 4, Thu 9 & Sat 11 May Matinees, 2.30pm


To book accessible tickets and discuss your access requirements, please contact our Box Office.
For more info on Accessibility, click here.

The performance on Thu 9 May at 2.30pm will be captioned. 

Advisory Info

Ages 12+, contains swearing.

Post-Show Talk

Discussion with writer Michael McManus and the Party Games! company after the evening show on Wed 8 May.

This is the perfect opportunity to see the thoughts and creative decisions behind the hilarious chaos of the show.