Dear West End Producer: ‘Could Boris Johnson develop a sideline as a pantomime dame?’
What steps does Boris Johnson need to take to develop an annual Christmas sideline as a pantomime dame? At which theatre should he aim to make his debut. https://t.co/2mHHeSALAV
— Simon Albury (@simonbg12) July 17, 2018
Boris Johnson already has a wonderful advantage over many actors who have spent years training in the business. He is a natural panto character. He lives, breathes and acts as if he is in a permanent pantomime, which isn’t necessarily a good thing – especially for someone who was the foreign secretary. Thankfully, he isn’t now, leaving him free to wow the world with his advanced drama skills.
Boris can play many panto characters. His natural goofiness and glorious mop of hair makes him the perfect Buttons. He could begin with a silly “Hiya gang!” greeting, at which the audience would shout back: “Bugger off, Boris!” His whimsical romantic song to Cinderella (played by Theresa May, because she’ll be looking for work by Christmas) will be I Would Do Anything for Love, But I Won’t Do That (Stay in the EU). His finale performed in front of a big red bus will bring moans and groans as he sings: “Old McBrexit had a Farm, E-I-E-I-O. With a 350 million here, a 50 billion there, here a lie, there a lie, everywhere a lie, lie, Old McBrexit had a Farm, U-L-I-A-R.”
Another panto character he lends himself to is the baddie. Boris as Abanazar, King Rat, Foreign Secretary FleshCreep, or Captain Crook would work wonderfully, with the audience booing and hissing at his every entrance.
Michael Gove and Boris Johnson would be the dream Ugly Sisters, bullying their little Cinderella by banning her from reading books, and constantly slapping her down
We can’t forget the Ugly Sisters. For this we’d have to pair Boris with a perfect companion – someone to complement him, someone with the same amount of talent and someone who will cruelly stab him in the back to ensure he’s wearing a superior dress. Yes, of course, it must be Michael Gove. Michael and Boris would be the dream Ugly Sisters, bullying their little Cinderella by banning her from reading books (particularly American literature), and constantly slapping her down with the catchphrase “You can’t polish a turd”.
Although a little too old now, Boris’ experience in office makes him a good candidate for Dick Whittington, especially when Dick realises his dream of becoming Mayor of London. But I feel it only fair that this role is swapped nightly between Boris and Ken (and Sadiq making a guest appearance on gala night, dear).
But although he’ll surely get plenty of bums on seats, I’m not sure how dedicated to the craft of theatre Boris will be. I’ve heard rumours that he likes getting audience members to do a public vote during a show, realise it’s the wrong outcome, walk offstage, and leave his understudy to sort everything out. Typical.
All this talk of Panto Boris has inspired me to think of roles for some other MPs:
Theresa May – Cruella de Vil
Philip Hammond – Baron Hardup
Jeremy Corbyn – Cinderella’s dad
Diane Abbott – Muddles
Nigel Farage – Dame Trot
Jacob Rees-Mogg – controller of Cruella de Vil
David Cameron – Wishee Washer
Tim Farron – Widow Wankey
Amber Rudd – Wicked Queen
Jeremy Hunt – Simple Simon
Sajid Javid – Dandini
Send questions to your dear agony aunt via Twitter @westendproducer