THE LETTER OF LAST RESORT on Radio 4 this Saturday
The Letter of Last Resort is a hand-written letter from the Prime Minister to the commanding officer of each of Trident's submarines. It contains instruction on what action the commanding officer of the submarine should take in the event that Britain is obliterated by nuclear attack and all those in authority deceased. The letter can only say one of two things: retaliate, or, don't retaliate. Each new British prime minister must write the letter upon taking office.
Set in the near future, David Greig's play is a conversation between the new prime minister and the Head of Arrangements, John, at the end of her first day. It unpacks the arguments around nuclear deterrents - and the surreal position a new prime minster must find themself in.
The play, by David Greig, was originally commissioned and produced by the Tricycle Theatre as part of the cycle of plays, THE BOMB – A PARTIAL HISTORY:-
The Letter of Last Resort, should be compulsory viewing for all our legislators
Michael Billington, The Guardian
amusing, moving and thought-provoking, brilliantly encapsulating the paradoxes and terror of mutually assured destruction
Charles Spencer, The Telegraph