The timing of Ed Balls’ show ‘Stictly Speaking Out’ couldn’t be better.
The dates coinciding with the recently announced General Election and last night’s performance at The Apex saw him liberally sprinkling his political anecdotes with some Strictly Come Dancing glitter.
Deftly compared by the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, the show was divided into two sections: prior to the interval we listened as Ed recounted stories from his political past and later, a return to listen as Freedland interviewed Balls, rounded off with some questions from the audience.
Covering such topics as Ed Balls Day (which he joked ‘must be pared back to its non-commercial roots’), his opinion of Jeremy Corbyn (“I’ve never been a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, but I have to stand back and let things take their course”) and that time he mistakenly called for a fluffer instead of a wardrobe assistant on a Strictly shoot, the over-arching theme -politicians are human beings too- ensured a more serious message wasn’t drowned out by his recent showbiz triumphs.
Balls has found the process of the public acknowledging his human side “quite painful”, talking about the lack of protective role-playing afforded to politicians that others in the public sphere benefit from. He referred to the relationship between the electorate and politicians as “a conspiracy of misunderstanding” and whilst he didn’t come up with any solutions for mending the damaged relationship between the two, his words last night certainly struck a chord with the audience, who left the theatre in a reflective mood.