Journalist and playwright Jonathan Maitland will be kept on his toes rewriting his latest play, The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, nightly to ensure it keeps up with the politician’s ever-changing world.
The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, an explosive new Brexit-inspired comedy-drama, will have its premiere at London’s Park Theatre in May 2019.
It was the dinner that changed history: the night in February 2016 when Boris Johnson decided to vote ‘leave’. Guests included fellow MP Michael Gove, media mogul Evgeny Lebedev and, for Boris at least, the spirits of Prime Ministers past – Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Tony Blair.
Fast forward to post-Brexit Britain, 2029: a country divided. Boris is back in the political wilderness and has ambitions to make Britain great again, but what are his true intentions?
Navigating a career in politics and the media, Boris remains as divisive as ever and in an unexpected turn of events, soon finds himself mired – yet again – in controversy.
Maitland, whose previous plays, An Audience with Jimmy Savile and Dead Sheep, were two of the most successful productions staged at Park Theatre, says: “Writing a play about Boris during these tumultuous times is wonderfully challenging.
“It’s given me more sleepless nights than anything in my career and that includes writing a play about Jimmy Savile, which one national newspaper tried to have banned. This play is the ultimate dramatic moving target – everything keeps changing.
“Since the first reading in June two big plot-changing events happened: Boris Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary and his marriage ended. But after a few stressful days – and nights – I soon realised that these uncontrollable and unpredictable events were dramaturgical catnip and embraced them joyously.
“Anyway – unexpected political events should hold no huge fears for me, given my previous incarnation as a journalist – last-minute high-pressure rewrites were part of the job.
“This play will be a bit like that: we will be rewriting the show every night to keep it up to date.
“It’s a bit scary, sure – but let’s put it in context. The stress I’m feeling isn’t quite on a par with that being felt by a certain Mrs T. May of SW1…”
The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, directed by Lotte Wakeham, runs at the Park Theatre, from May 9 – June 8.
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