It used to be that television throughout the 1960s and 1970s regularly used to screen single plays.
Sometimes they were part of a themed anthology series like Love Story. At other times the only thing they had in common was their time slot.
Now a single play is something of a rarity and those that are made to-day, unlike in former times, have more in common with films than with the theatre. When television used to tackle historical themes for its plays, they tended to be set in the distant past.
Recently though one off historical dramas tend to be about more recent events and often feature actors playing people who are still living today. Watching these dramas unfolding can be somewhat unnerving, as the people the actors are portraying seems to look not quite the way that you feel that they should do. Sometimes wondering how convincing this actor is in playing this real person, can prove to be rather a distraction from the unfolding narrative.
This Saturday evening at nine o’clock on Channel Four there is a new one-off film called Coalition. Coalition was written by the well-respected political playwright James Graham and deals with what went on behind the scenes when the General Election of 2010 ended up with no clear-cut winner. It seemed as if a Coalition was inevitable. But which parties would make up that Coalition? After speaking to many people directly involved in these days of uncertainty, James Graham has come up with this play, which he hopes will produce much discussion. As recent opinion polls point to possibly another Coalition Government, will this play help or hinder people as they prepare for this coming General Election?