Reviewed by Lucy Gwilliam
I attended the opening night of The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson yesterday evening with my friend. I was a little apprehensive about reviewing this show as I had originally been going to watch the show with my husband, who is more or a politics fan than myself or my friend. However, I went with an open mind and hoped for an enjoyable evening. I had read some mixed reviews about the productions so did not know how it would pan out, but I am always optimistic and was pleasantly surprised with a really good show.
The show started at 8pm and ran for 2 hours 10 minutes, including a 20 minute interval. This is a late start for a school night, but it allowed me to get there in plenty of time and not feel rushed.
My friend and I took our seats for the performance, which began promptly for the first act. The act is set between 2016 and 2019 and begins with capturing events that took place at the Islington home of Boris Johnson in February 2016. We were greeted with a group of 5 actors who took on various roles of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Boris’ partner at the time Claire Lichie, Michael Gove’s partner at the time Sarah Vine and the proprietor of the Evening Standard, Evgeny Lebedev.
This meeting is described as ‘the dinner that changed history’ and focuses around the discussions between Johnson and Gove and their determination to back the leave campaign in a run up to the upcoming EU referendum. This was the start of what was to come with the Brexit journey and sees Boris go through many twists and turns to eventually become Prime Minister and complete Great Britain leaving the EU.
Act 2 fast forwards to 9 years in the future from now and a version of Britain that has turned out for the worse after leaving the EU. Boris is not PM anymore but is approached and asked to campaign to rejoin the EU and be PM again in a hope to save the economy of the UK. He arranges another dinner party, inviting his old friend Gove to ask for his support. Will Boris become the PM to help the UK Brenter the EU?
The play is very well scripted and beautifully acted out by the talented actors on set. Each of them, bar Boris, took on multiple personalities which were excellently executed, and the impressions were brilliant. I found they introduced who they were when playing a new character, however, they didn’t need to as they were easily recognisable.
The set was very well utilised, and the storyline was fast paced and easy to follow. I found that the acts seemed to go really quickly as I was enjoying myself throughout.
Overall, we were really impressed with the story and had an excellent night out at The Lowry. I would rate this production 4/5.
Tickets cost from £18.50 (booking fees may apply).
The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson is at The Lowry in Manchester from 2-7 March 2020, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000