The Roman poet Horace said a play should not be shorter or longer than five acts. The German scholar Gustav Freytag defined those acts for the modern age. As Theresa May is poised to mark her first year as Prime Minister, most would agree that it has been quite a remarkable 12 months – in five acts she has manged to produce a true drama.
Act I: The Exposition
The protagonist is introduced
It is now hard to remember, yet vital to recall, that Theresa May took the Tory crown not by triumph but by default. Every other claimant removed himself or herself from contention: David Cameron quit after failing over Europe. Boris Johnson quit after failing to convince Michael Gove he was serious about Brexit. Andrea Leadsom quit after failing to realise that common decency demands you don’t try to score political points over the fact that someone doesn’t have children.