Tonight, some 40,000 theatregoers will try to escape the UK general election by voting with their cheeks and parking their bottoms on the red velvet plush seats of London’s Theatreland. But Theatreland’s writers, actors and directors have a long standing fascination with their expense-dodging power hungry counterparts. Tonight, we take an irreverent look at the Politics of Theatreland – a place where neither Monarch nor Prime Minister is above derision. Famously described as “show business for ugly people”, Politics is a whole lot closer to theatre than we might like to admit, and when you look at the leaps of Eddie Izzard, Glenda Jackson and Russell Brand from the theatrical onto the political stage, you see how easily the lines can blur.

The Vote

Election night broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse

Catherine Tate and Samuel West will be voting Donmar [Photograh Johan Persson]
Catherine Tate and Timothy West will be voting Donmar [Photograh Johan Persson]
Judi Dench and Mark Gatiss tonight lead a stellar cast

Like pubs, the Royal Family and cheese rolling, Kenneth Branagh is one of Britain’s greatest phenomena. Hollywood loves him, and so have a succession of incredibly talented and high-flying British women.

Kenneth Branagh
Knight of a Thousand Stars: Sir Kenneth Branagh

So, what is it about our Ken that attracts the likes of Emma Thompson and Dame Judi Dench to love and