The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire


By Simon Woods
Directed by Hannah Sayer
9th – 17th February 2024 at 8:00pm
Matinee on February 17th at 2:30pm

Duration: Approx. 90mins with no interval

Funny, tender, brutal and ultimately devastating.

It’s obliquely timely, then, often waspishly funny, ultimately very moving.

Financial Times

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd.

Hansard; noun The official report of all parliamentary debates.

It’s a summer’s morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital sparring quickly turn to blood-sport.

Can a play show that time stands still? In politics at least. The fact that Hansard is set in 1988 baffles some as the mirrors to today’s political landscape and attitude are uncanny. The sparring between Diana and Robin could be happening today, the themes, the despair at the world, even the ending highlights a current problem in today’s world – one that is often swept under the carpet, not discussed, covered by the British stiff upper lip and utter refusal to acknowledge some emotions.

This play is a dynamic rollercoaster of recognition: from marital battles, to polar political opinions, to the love that still peeks out beneath decades of emotional barriers.


Directed by
Hannah Sayer


Diana Hesketh
Robin Hesketh

Our thanks go to Dawn and David Thompson for the use of their house for filming.

Production PHOTOS

(Click image to enlarge)


It’s obliquely timely, then, often waspishly funny, ultimately very moving.

Financial Times

…a piece that shows Woods – who himself went to Eton and Oxford – sabotaging a world of gilded privilege.

The Guardian

A witty and devastating portrait of the governing class.

National Theatre

Touching and illuminating all at once.

The Times

Engrossing and Incisive.





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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Statement

At the Barn we are committed to promoting equality and challenging discrimination in all its forms. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the cast and creative team, regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.


In this production of Hansard we are committed to ensuring it does not perpetuate harmful stereotypes or prejudices while staying true to the original intentions of the playwright and the era in which it is set. The casting characteristics specified by the playwright do not revolve around race or gender as essential to the narrative. Therefore, we invite people of all ages, ethnicities and genders to audition for and get involved with the play. We aim to create a respectful and authentic reimagining of Hansard, embracing the diversity of our participants while continuing to value artistic interpretation and remaining dedicated to fostering an inclusive and diverse production.

Part 1, 18th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 19th Jan 8pm

Parts 1+2 20th Jan 2.30pm

Part 1, 23rd Jan 8pm

Part 2, 24th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 25th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 26th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 27th Jan 2.30pm

Part 2,  27th Jan 8pm