Even as Andrew Lloyd Webber is about to re-visit a serious parliamentary scandal of the 1960s in his new musical Stephen Ward, the West End has also delivered a new and riotously funny play about a much more recent one: the expenses scandal that engulfed MPs in 2009 when the Daily Telegraph received and started publishing the uncensored expenses claims of all 646 members of parliament.
The Duck House
Set in a world of dodgy receipts, dodgier deceit, and pure Parliamentary panic. May 2009. Gordon Brown’s Government is in meltdown and a General Election is just one year away. Labour backbencher Robert Houston loves being an MP and will do anything to save his seat – including change sides. All is going well with his switch from red to blue until, on the eve of his final interview with Sir Norman Cavendish, a Tory grandee, the Expenses Scandal breaks. As public fury mounts over taxpayers’ millions being frittered away on second homes, hanging baskets, moat-cleaning and duck houses, Robert and his secretarial staff, aka wife Felicity , student son Seb, Seb’s girlfriend Holly and Russian housekeeper Ludmilla find themselves in big, big trouble.