Jeremy Corbyn musical to be staged in London

Image source, PA
Image caption,
It is not yet known what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thinks of the musical

In what may be the first stage show written about a leader of the opposition, a Jeremy Corbyn musical is coming to a London theatre.

Corbyn the Musical: The Motorcycle Diaries is described as a "no-holds barred political satire".

It sees the Labour leader facing a nuclear crisis with Russia and tells of a motorcycle holiday he allegedly took with Diane Abbott in the 1970s.

It is being staged at Waterloo East Theatre in April.

Writers Rupert Myers and Bobby Friedman will be working on the show - which has been described as "James Bond meets the Kama Sutra" - up until the end of February to make sure it is as up to date as possible.

Fair game?

Myers, political correspondent for British GQ, said Friedman suggested the idea after his uncle said that "someone should write a comedy musical about Jeremy Corbyn".

"He cornered me on my birthday when I'd had a few glasses of wine," Myers told the BBC. "It took us about 20 minutes to come up with the plot.

"It wrote itself when we established it was going to be about Jeremy Corbyn's alleged motorbike odyssey through East Germany with Diane Abbott - and the rest is history.

"The whole process was very natural and the first draft came very easily.

"But the nature of this thing is that Jeremy Corbyn is providing so much rolling material."

Image source, Bobby Friedman/Rupert Myers

Asked to describe the plot, he said: "Basically, Jeremy Corbyn faces an imminent nuclear crisis with Russia, and the secret of unlocking this lies in his past.

"It's a drama about what happened on that journey, and what helps in that situation."

He promised that Mr Corbyn would be receiving an invitation to attend one of the 12 performances of the musical, adding that it "would be wonderful" to know the Labour leader's thoughts.

"I would like to think that anyone would want to see a play about their own lives," said the writer. "I don't think it would be politically very savvy for him to attend - which means he may well do so."

But Myers is not sure what reception the 95-minute musical will have.

He wrote in The Telegraph: "For his eccentricities, his fascinating life story, and his personality, Corbyn was the perfect choice for satirical treatment.

"Mocking the leader of the Labour party is definitely 'punching up' in comic terms, but I am still nervous that those whose political sympathies lie with Corbyn will determine that he isn't fair game."

Image source, Rupert Myers/Bobby Friedman
Image caption,
Rupert Myers (left) said it took him and Bobby Friedman 20 minutes to come up with the plot

Other characters in the musical include Boris Johnson, Tony Blair and Ed Miliband.

"We want it to be a play that takes a shot at everybody," said Myers. "There will be characters from right across the political spectrum."

Myers said the musical was yet to be cast, but that he hoped to "twist the arm" of comedian Lolly Adefope to play Ms Abbott.

He had previously teamed up with Friedman for the comedy podcast Political Takeout. Original music for the musical is being written by Jen Green.

But it's not the first time songs have been written about Mr Corbyn.

BBC Radio 4's 15-minute Musicals broadcast Jeremy Corbyn Superstar! last month, featuring lines including: "Jeremy, beard and bike - grows his own vegetables, what's not to like?".

Around the BBC