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Blair and Bush under the spotlight at Hampstead



Preview by Jack Foley

WORLD politics take centre stage, once again, in a new political satire entitled Follow My Leader, at the Hampstead Theatre, from April 21 to May 15.

Written by Alistair Beaton, the satire will focus on Tony Blair and George Bush, and will take the form of a musical comedy based around current world affairs.

It will star Jason Durr, of TV's Heartbeat, and Stuart Milligan, of Crossroads, as the real-life politicians, and has been subtitled 'Making a Song and Dance About the War on Terror'.

The play will trace the development of the 'war on terror', from 9/11, through the Iraq war, to the present day, and will watch as Bush and Blair congratulate themselves on ridding the world of dictatorship, even while their war activates a global clash of cultures.

Durr and Milligan will be joined by Sevan Stephan (Romeo and Juliet, Lautrec), as Clare Short, in drag, and Peter Polycarpou (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui), as Osama Bin Laden, Comical Ali and God.

Alistair Beaton will already be remembered by theatregoers for his award-winning satire on New Labour spin, Feelgood, which transferred to the West End after its premiere, at Hampstead, in 2001.

His other writing credits include Not the Nine O’Clock News and Spitting Image.

Follow My Leader will feature music by Richard Blackford and, prior to its Hampstead run, will appear at Birmingham Rep from March 26.

Fans of political theatre should take note - the musical satire should form an interesting companion piece to Tricycle Theatre's upcoming Guantanamo – ‘Honor Bound to Defend Freedom’, which plays for a limited time, between May 24 and June 12, and which promises to examine the plight of the Guantanamo Bay detainees.

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