UK's Playhouse Presents, 2012

director.gif (905 bytes)Iain Softley


Hayley Atwell - The banker
Stephen Fry - The European
Zoe Wanamaker - The Woman
Stellan Skarsgård - The Man
Tony Cosh - Security guard

Written by Sandi Toksvig


Playhouse Presents is a series of eleven self-contained TV plays, made by British broadcaster Sky Arts. Each episode is written by a different writer and stars a different cast. This episode was aired on June 7 and September 27, 2012.


A young fledging banker meets a knowledgeable professor and his colleague at an exclusive hotel for what she believes to be a routine meeting with clients handed down to her by her father. As it turns out, she is seriously unaware of the details regarding her role and the people she is about to advise.

She is still floundering when ‘The Man’  arrives disguised as a waiter, and changes into a suit which he had hidden under a cloche. Pulling her even further from her corporate comfort zone, they force her to join them in a game of cards while they discuss the agenda for the following day’s meeting with the “leaders of tomorrow”.

What she discovers means that she will never believe what she hears or reads again, and that the people in the room play a secret role in the manipulation of the entire world to ensure that the West always reigns supreme.

button_box.gif (205 bytes) PHOTOS:

button_box.gif (205 bytes) REVIEWS:

Reviewer Ian D. Hall:
The second play written for the Sky Arts series of plays by Sandi Toksvig, the engaging "The Man" was quite possibly one of the strangest that the series had produced so far and yet also one of the most compelling for viewers to get their thoughts around.  "The Man" had an array of talent within the short half hour programme that it could have put the other plays to absolute shame in its sharp crisp feel... The beauty of this particular play, compared to the unfortunate drab affair by Ms. Toksvig earlier in the series was the sheer joy that masked the subject matter that came through in the writing for the four major actors on the screen. Not only was the writing a joy to behold but it reflected well in the apparent feel that the actors gave in performing it... Compelling television and a joy to watch. 

Reviewer Mark Braxton:
This provocative mini-drama from Sandi Toksvig begins cryptically, with a fledgeling banker invited to a huge country pile to meet new clients. They include a professor and his colleague, plus a mysterious Swede – the Man of the title. Over a card game she learns just how wide-ranging her remit is when their discussions take in China, Sars and al-Qaeda. “I feel like I’m in some kind of f***ing Dan Brown novel,” she explodes. Stephen Fry is suitably Fry-ish and academic, while the “people and power” theme plays out chillingly. It’s another impressive, starry outing in an anthology series that gives writers freedom to gamble.