Seated on a grey sofa in her Chequers country home, her left elbow propped up casually, a vase of tulips off to her right, Theresa May wants to have a friendly chat. “Over the past few days, people have been asking me what on earth has been happening with Brexit,” she says. “And I can understand that, because after all it’s been nearly three years since people voted in the referendum for the UK to leave the European Union,” she says with a weary, bemused chuckle. The conversational style, shaky camera work and homespun setting of the video – as much as a 16th century manor house can be thought of as homely – is a break from her previous addresses to the nation on Brexit. Let me explain what's happening with Brexit. pic.twitter.com/gjGkvFk8fT — Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 7, 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> In her most memorable recent appearance on March 20, the prime minister stood at a podium emblazoned with a coat of arms. Her tone was angry as she blamed parliament for not getting her Brexit deal through. “You, the public, have had enough,” she said. Brexit will be called off if the UK cannot decide on a withdrawal agreement, PM Theresa May says “You’re tired of the infighting, you’re tired of the political games and arcane procedural rows, tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns,” she said. It was a performance The Guardian’s editorial board labelled “shabby, shameful and a form of national sabotage”. But this time, May’s was in casual Sunday mode. The Chequers video has a far more collegial tone than her previous outings, with a focus on how the prime minister will work with Labour to get a Brexit deal done. Gone was the lectern, the notes, the lecture. Brexit: UK’s top cops warn there may be violent unrest if there’s no deal with EU This was May unplugged. “You know I think often that members of the public want to see their politicians working together more often,” opined the new relatable, fireside prime minister. “It’ll mean compromise on both sides,” she added, with another knowing laugh. The stark difference in style did not go unnoticed. It was arguably the best attempt at a casual, natural performance the nation has seen from a leader – dubbed Robo-May and Maybot – whose performances are normally anything but. Conservative MP Johnny Mercer hailed the performance as: “Excellent and above all, human.” “Cut out the stilted statements from the lectern and do more of these,” wrote Tim Montgomerie, Conservative commentator. But not everyone was impressed. This is fine pic.twitter.com/lFayzmqZ0t — HappyToast ★ (@IamHappyToast) April 7, 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> On Twitter one user pointed out that the “natural” performance was as orchestrated as any other. “May’s PR team: ‘Camera guy, can you wobble the camera a bit so it seems more authentic? … Also, try and laugh – that might help you look like a real human’.: Another said “May’s rebirth as Mrs Normal doesn’t wash!”. The Metro had nothing but scorn for May’s attempts to connect with voters through her “sitting room chat”. Its headline Monday was: “Sofa … so bad”. Monday's front page: SOFA ... SO BAD #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers #skypapers pic.twitter.com/aCI7IzIDBn — Metro Newspaper UK (@MetroUKNews) April 7, 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> For many the real issue was not May’s sales pitch, but what she is selling. As Peter Walker has written for The Guardian , while the “homespun video” might be “praised for its conversational style, it lacked any fresh detail on proposals to break the Brexit impasse.” It is hard to imagine any number of couches or tulips or world-weary laughs will stop people from continuing to ask May the question she opened her speech with: what on earth has been happening with Brexit?