Stage Door News

London, GBR: Michael Healey’s “1979” has its European premiere January 2, 2024

Thursday, September 21, 2023

“You’re a forgettable blank. A complete nobody. You're the leader of this country, and the vast majority of Canadians couldn't pick you out of a police line-up. And that's good. As long as the leader is as still, silent, and blank as possible...he can do whatever he wants.”

In May 1979, Progressive Conservative Joe Clark was elected as Canada’s youngest ever Prime Minister.

By Christmas 1979, it looked as though it was all over.

But Clark is young and idealistic, resolute on making his mark in office, and governing for the whole country, not just his own party supporters. Faced with a critical decision, his colleagues – including his predecessor Pierre Trudeau – take the opportunity to steer him in completely different directions…

As the UK heads into what will almost certainly be another General Election year, this fast-paced satirical political comedy is a dazzling insight into the rapidly changing world of Conservative party politics.

A European premiere from multi-award-winning playwright Michael Healey in his fourth production at the Finborough Theatre.


By Michael Healey

2 January-27 January 2024

Finborough Theatre

118 Finborough Road


SW10 9ED

For tickets visit

About Playwright Michael Healey:

Playwright Michael Healey returns to the Finborough Theatre which has seen three productions of his work including his UK debut with Generous (2009, revived by popular demand in 2010), the London premiere of The Drawer Boy (2012) and the UK premiere of Proud (2016). Michael Healey trained as an actor at Toronto’s Ryerson Theatre School. He began writing for the stage in the early nineties, and his first play, Kicked, was produced at the Fringe of Toronto Festival in 1996, subsequently toured across Canada and internationally, and won the Toronto’s most prestigious theatre award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play. The Drawer Boy, his first full-length play, premiered in Toronto in 1999, again winning the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play, as well as the Chalmers Canadian Playwriting Award and Canada’s highest literary honour, the Governor General’s Literary Award. It has been translated into German, French, Japanese and Hindi and continues to be produced regularly across North America and internationally. Healey’s other works include The Road To Hell (co-authored with Kate Lynch), Plan B, Rune Arlidge, The Innocent Eye Test, The Nuttalls, Are You Okay and 1979 which received six Betty Mitchell Award nominations on it world premiere in Calgary in 2017, and subsequently ran in Toronto in 2019. His trilogy focusing on Canadian values and politics, entitled Generous, Courageous and Proud met with great critical success and have had multiple productions. In all, his plays have won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play five times. He has also adapted works by Chekhov, Molnár, Hecht and MacArthur, Dürrenmatt and Bernard Shaw for the Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival and Soulpepper, Toronto. He continues to work as an actor occasionally. Michael’s newest play The Master Plan opened in Toronto in September 2023.