The repercussions of the Brexit vote have been felt everywhere, so it’s surprising that Boris – the Musical! took so long to be born.
After all, the new Foreign Secretary and former London Lord Mayor Boris Johnson has been a larger-than-life figure on the British political scene for a few years now.
But it’s taken a young group of Sheffield theatre makers to come up with the idea of turning his life story into a stage show.
The EU referendum result was the catalyst, said writer Laurence Peacock.
“I was quite angry. I was a soft ‘remain’ voter but I was angry at the hypocrisy and opportunism that went on, especially of Boris.
“I started to write a song and that spiralled out of control into the show.”
Then the man himself chimed in, in the form of actor David Raphael Burchhardt: “It’s an important story of the times. Theatre’s all about giving the people what they want. Why has it only taken until now?”
Laurence said: “It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. We’d seen Boris every day for weeks, delivering bonkers speeches and generally larking about, and then all of a sudden he was a national disgrace. It was a perfect tragic arc.”
But, as director Kyle Williams pointed out, Boris’s fall from grace didn’t last long.
“It was what? Two days? Then Theresa May goes and makes him Foreign Secretary. We had to add a whole other section.”
David said he really gets into the part when he dons a blond wig. Back in character, he added: “I’m doing a generally good job of portraying myself. I know this particularly because I‘ve spoken to David on a personal level.”
Kyle said: “It’s very funny. We’ve been having a lot of fun in rehearsals. It’s primarily a comedy, telling the whole story of his life, including his time in Eton and Oxford.
“We’re trying to take some quite harsh swipes at Boris and it’s a strange experience, hilarious, moving and damning at the same time.”
Other characters include Michael Gove and ‘call me Dave’ Cameron, played by women.
Laurence said: “Politics is mainly dominated by blokes and we didn’t want to carry that on. We wanted women to play men because it’s a comedy and ridiculous.”
The show features songs such as I’m Talking about Brexit, Please, Call Me Boris and Me and My Johnson, with music composed by Doncaster jazz singer Hollie Morrell.
Boris – the Musical! is at Doncaster Brewery on Sunday (September 4) at 1.30pm and at the Library Theatre, Sheffield on September 8 and 9 at 7.30pm.
Age recommendation is 14 plus. The show is ‘pay what you decide’ with cash taken at the end but you can reserve a seat at Boris the musical