A CONTEMPORARY dark comedy, The National Joke, will be performed at Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud by Hexagon Theatre Company on October 18-20.

The National Joke is written by one of the UK’s leading playwrights, Torben Betts, who has been compared to Alan Ayckbourn, who invited him to be resident dramatist at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

The play was first performed there in 2016.

Using humour, fast action and crackling dialogue Betts tackles conflicts in the domestic and wider political arena.

In this depiction of the bumpy family life of fictional MP Rupert St John-Green the play is bang in the middle of the current political scene.

As three generations of the MP’s family gather for a rare party to celebrate the solar eclipse, his wife is hoping for a lovely day with all her family around her.

But the eclipse shines a light on tensions between the generations, class and political beliefs, and Rupert finds himself in the middle of a media storm.

Performances start at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available from cotswoldplayhouse.co.uk