Last week, The Londoner reported that Boris Johnson has had to put his long-awaited Shakespeare biography on ice in order to devote all his time to the demanding office of Prime Minister.
But all is not lost — Johnson is set to be the subject of a Shakespearean tragedy of his own on the London stage next week.
Boris Rex, a satire by the playwright and actor Charlie Dupré, opens at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden on Monday. Dupré told The Londoner that when he first wrote the play last summer, “I was predicting that Boris would be Prime Minister in 2027”, adding: “So I’ve had to change it just before our last show last week to update it more.
“I wanted to write it a bit like Julius Caesar because Boris is always going on about the classics, and the Brexit referendum had so much Shakespearean backstabbing.”
Dupré said that he had to figure out how to work around Johnson’s own theatricality.
“Boris has an extravagant personality so we thought: ‘How can we adapt it? What’s the point of our version?” he asked. “As real events have come to so closely resemble the play, the performances have felt increasingly more like an activist response to our current predicament, and where it could lead.”
Boris Rex will have a six-night London run. Luke Theobald of the Jest comedy troupe plays Johnson, but he has one handicap: he doesn’t have blond hair. “Our lead actor Luke is ginger. We’ve got him in a wig,” explained Dupré, who said the Prime Minister is welcome to the show.
“Why not? We would invite him. He loves being the centre of attention.”
And this future is dystopian in more ways than one.
“I don’t want to ruin the ending, but Jeremy Corbyn is in it,” he said. “The last part of the play is 2027. He is still leader of the opposition.” Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...
Outrage at Bannon
David Lammy has led attacks on the BBC’s Today programme after it featured an interview with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon this morning.
“Why is Steve Bannon, an avowed white supremacist, anti-Semite racist, given almost 15 mins uninterrupted airtime on Today?” the Labour politician asked.
Others chimed in, with former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood blasting the corporation: “You are feeding the far-Right by giving this man and his network such airtime.” BBC North America editor Jon Sopel was also criticised for being “nowhere” in challenging Bannon.
Noel Gallagher’s new music space in Kings Cross’s Tileyard Studios will be finished in the next month, The Londoner has heard. But has anyone tipped off the former Oasis guitarist that his brother Liam’s struggling clothing label Pretty Green is also based there? Perhaps the brothers could finally patch up their differences over lunch.
Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton sees an unexpected risk of Brexit. “The worst thing that could happen after Brexit isn’t really about the politics but more about the sex,” he tells us. “British people are destined for bad sex because all the Europeans will have to move out. Everyone knows Europeans are great in bed.”
Curry that left Sian asking, am I in heaven?
Fleabag star Sian Clifford says she ate “the greatest meals of my life” the same day she nearly died on a trek in Thailand.
“We were on a really narrow bit of track. It was a really sheer drop. My footing went,” she tells the Off Menu podcast. She was saved from falling only because “my friend caught me by my rucksack”. Now, the actor says, she is “not a fan of peril”. But on the night of the near-accident, she could enjoy a delicious green curry. “It was amazing because I was alive.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg is the newly appointed Lord President of the Privy Council, following in the grand tradition of Nick Clegg, Andrea Leadsom — and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, for whom the post was created in 1530. His first job in the role was to help drive through Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon, leading to our separation from Rome. What an inheritance for Rees-Mogg, a man famously more Catholic than the Pope.
TORY MP Andrea Jenkyns has “whiplash and concussion” and is in a neckbrace after a workplace accident. “That’s the last time I swing on my chair during a meeting,” she laments. It must have been crashingly dull.
Ben Bradley MP is advertising for a secretary who must have “excellent attention to detail”. It’s a key requirement for Bradley – his own carelessness last year saw him make a false claim about Jeremy Corbyn. He subsequently had to apologise and pay an undisclosed sum to charity.
Sex tips aplenty as the literati gather for the launch of boudoir bible
The literary set were out in force last night to celebrate the launch of a new and “augmented” edition of The Boudoir Bible, a “guide to the contemporary sexual landscape”, by Betony Vernon. The author was joined by FGM campaigner Nimko Ali, socialite Amanda Eliasch and actor Victoria Summer at Mortimer House, a six-storey Art Deco mansion in Fitzrovia.
Meanwhile, revellers Octavia Calthorpe, Henrietta Rix, Orlagh McCloskey, Laura Castro and Jana Sascha Haveman and Clara Paget escaped the great British summer drizzle for the 15th birthday of the Atzaro Hotel in Ibiza.
Paget went full Ibiza and went for a costume change midway through the night.
Quote of the Day
'She rose like a phoenix from the ashes...and ended up in London'
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star Lena Dunham is in town