Theatre review: The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson at The Lowry, Salford

PUBLISHED: 08:54 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:54 05 March 2020

Will Barton as Boris Johnson
Photo: Pamela Raith

Will Barton as Boris Johnson Photo: Pamela Raith

Pamela Raith

Highly entertaining, a political satire that doesn’t (quite) take sides, The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson delivers laughs and a wry commentary on the state of the UK today.

Bill Champion as Michael Gove
Photo: Pamela RaithBill Champion as Michael Gove Photo: Pamela Raith

I must admit, I am not a fan of the man himself and I steer clear of too much politics in my life. It was a bad idea in 2016 and nothing seems to have improved since. However, since the decision of Mr J to take the side of the Leavers during the Battle of Brexit has been cited as pivotal in the vote, I thought a non-serious insight into his role in events might be interesting. I was right. It was also properly entertaining.

The play starts in 2016, at a dinner party where Gove persuades Johnson to take the Leave position. A fateful night indeed. This is so well done - with ghostly visits from Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Tony Blair (not dead yet, as far as I know) to add comedic spice to events. Every character is brilliantly mimicked by the cast, with Will Barton's Boris absolutely perfect! As for Bill Champion's Michael Gove - shudder. Too slimily on point. There are a few jokes that only those who know more than I got, but there are plenty of laughs for even the most unaware of the audience. Interestingly, it's not nearly as Boris-bashing as you might expect - not that anybody comes out smelling of roses, for sure.

Part two takes us to 2029, ten years after Britain exited the EU - and it's a bleak picture indeed. Boris is out of power, after his short-lived premiership drew to an ignominious close and the UK is teetering on the brink of total collapse. So - what should we do but re-enter Europe? And who better to lead the charge to Bre-entry than Boris? It's a fun spin on what might be - but one thing we can be sure of - things will never be that bad, surely? Or..? Oh dear.

The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson plays at The Lowry until Saturday 7th March 2020

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