Following the sold-out run at Park Theatre, London, full casting has been announced for the first national tour of The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, the new political comedy from journalist, broadcaster and playwright Jonathan Maitland (An Audience with Jimmy Savile, Dead Sheep). Directed by Dugald Bruce-Lockheart, the tour will begin at Festival Theatre, Malvern on 22 January 2020.
Will Barton returns to lead the cast as Boris Johnson. Also in the cast will be Bill Champion as Michael Gove / Winston Churchill, Emma Davies as Margaret Thatcher / Sarah Vine / Chief Whip, Claire Lichie as Marina Wheeler / Boris’s Girlfriend, along with Tim Wallers, who returns to the roles of Evgeny Lebedev / Tony Blair / Huw Edwards.
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, Gove’s wife, the journalist Sarah Vine, Evgeny Lebedev and, for Boris at least, the spirits of Prime Ministers past – Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
Fast forward to post-Brexit Britain, 2029. Boris, no longer in power (for reasons that may be fact and/or fiction at time of performance!), roams the political wilderness. But unexpected events see him back in the spotlight and with a chance to “make Britain great again”. This play addresses the big questions: What will Britain look like in ten years’ time? Is chlorinated chicken really bad for you? And what IS going on inside the head of the most divisive and controversial politician of our time?
As befits the fastest moving story of our time, the script will be updated – nightly, if necessary – to reflect events…
Will Barton has played Boris before, in the 2017 BBC 2 drama Theresa V Boris, and his most recent theatre credits include The Libertine at 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.
Bill Champion has worked extensively in film and television. His film roles include Dr Leonard in Blitz, and his TV credits include Bertie in Wallis & Edward, PC David Adams in Rockliffe’s Babies and Penrose in Casualty. His recent theatre roles include Harvey in Season’s Greetings at Stephen Joseph Theatre.
Emma Davies recently starred in the films The Hustle with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson and The Current War with Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch. Her television credits include Grantchester, Guilt, Holby City, EastEnders, Royal Wives at War, Humans, Emmerdale, and Mosley. She is soon to star in Rage, But Hope (Streatham Project Place).
Claire Lichie is best known for her television and film roles including King of Thieves, Doctors (BBC), Endeavour (ITV / Mammoth Productions) and Inbetweeners (Universal Pictures). Her theatre credits include I Need An Adult (Lyric Hammersmith), That Dead Girl (New Diorama Theatre) and You Can Still Make A Killing (Southwark Playhouse).
Tim Wallers is best known for playing Prince Andrew in The Windsors on Channel 4 and Netflix. His recent theatre credits include An Ideal Husband (The Vaudeville Theatre), Travesties (The Menier Chocolate Factory / Apollo Theatre West End) and Dead Sheep (Park Theatre).
Jonathan Maitland says of his play, “It’s nice to have written something which unites Leavers and Remainers: the audiences so far have laughed, gasped and occasionally cried throughout! It’s quite a brew: politics, power, sex, sovereignty and more re-writes than any withdrawal agreement! But it seems to work. Who’d have thought?”
The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson will be directed by Dugald Bruce-Lockheart, with set and costume design by Louie Whitemore, lighting design by Christopher Nairne and sound design by Andy Graham.
This tour is produced by Glynis Henderson Productions. The original project was co-funded by Art50, a scheme commissioned by Sky Arts and produced by Storyvault Films to explore the notion of British identity in the wake of Brexit, and originally produced by Glynis Henderson Productions at Park Theatre London 2019.
For more information visit www.bojotheplay.co.uk
Photo credit: Pamela Raith