Full casting has been announced for The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, the new Brexit-inspired comedy drama from journalist, broadcaster and playwright Jonathan Maitland (An Audience with Jimmy Savile, Dead Sheep). Directed by Lotte Wakeham (Artistic Director of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton), this world premiere will play at Park Theatre from 9 May to 8 June 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 and his wife columnist Sarah Vine, media mogul Evgeny Lebedev, and, for Boris at least, the spirits of past Prime Ministers – 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 once again in controversy.
Jonathan Maitland says of his play and protagonist “Boris Johnson is the perfect subject: compelling, colourful, deeply divisive, hugely influential. It was he, perhaps more than anyone, who changed the course of our recent history. Without him, Leave might well have lost in 2016. And he might be our next Prime Minister.
“But this play isn’t just about him. It’s about power: the lust for it and the cost of it.
“It’s also the ultimate dramatic moving target, which makes it challenging to stage, but also, hopefully, entertaining, exciting and relevant for the audience. During the course of writing this play, things have become increasingly chaotic and unpredictable which is why we’ll be updating the script, nightly if necessary, to keep up with events.”
Leading the cast as Boris Johnson will be Will Barton. Barton has played Boris before, in the 2017 BBC2 drama Theresa V Boris, and his most recent theatre credits include The Libertine at The Theatre Royal Haymarket, Toast at Park Theatre and in New York and Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be at Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Also in the cast will be Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as Michael Gove, Davina Moon as Marina Wheeler / Anita (Boris’s girlfriend), Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher, Tim Wallers as Evgeny Lebedev / Tony Blair / Huw Edwards and Arabella Weir as Sarah Vine / Chief Whip / Winston Churchill.