Meet the Writers Behind a New Musical About British Left-Wing Leader Jeremy Corbyn

The new musical sees Prime Minister Corbyn locked in a nuclear stand off with Putin, to the backdrop of an alleged affair with Labour MP Diane Abbott.
January 28, 2016, 3:30pm

Jeremy Corbyn. Photo by Oscar Webb

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

Great romances have been immortalized on stage and screen throughout time: Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Romeo and Juliet, Edward and Bella, Jacob and Bella. These couples symbolize an unattainable dream, a dream that usually ends with an untimely death. Nonetheless, now comes the greatest romance of them all: the story of a fling between a young Jeremy Corbyn and Dianne Abbott, a tale brought to life on stage in Corbyn the Musical: the Motorcycle Diaries.

The musical, directed by Adam Lenson, will be opening at the Waterloo East Theatre in Westminster on April 12 and will run for two weeks. Tickets were released on Monday and have already sold out.

The plot is uncomfortably bizarre. It sees Jeremy Corbyn—now Prime Minister—facing a nuclear standoff with Russian President Vladimir Putin, set to a backdrop of a motorbike ride taken by Jeremy Corbyn and Labour MP Diane Abbott that supposedly really happened in East Germany in the 1970s. Corbyn and Abbott have never commented on the alleged fling.

There has already been some backlash from Corbynistas, who protest that Corbyn is not fair game. Unsurprisingly, the show's writers—journalists Rupert Myers and Bobby Friedman—seemed to think otherwise.

VICE: So this is your first musical. How long did it take you to come up with the idea?
Rupert Myers: After we got word of the Corbyn and Abbott motorbike saga, we came up with the plot in the space of about 20 minutes, and since then there hasn't been a lot of tinkering with that.

Is this the first time you two have worked together?
No, we both studied at Emmanuelle College, Cambridge, and had a university radio show called Rock and Roll Politics. You can literally summarize the show as "and that was an interview with Conservative MP John Redwood and now it's time for Cream, 'Sunshine Of Your Love.'" It was a very strange mix that, we will be honest enough to admit, did not change the face of British radio.
Bobby Friedman**:** I don't know if Rupert remembers it, but we did actually say that line.

Why is Jeremy the perfect character for a musical?
This musical is the biggest compliment to Jeremy Corbyn, because he's actually the only politician who really justifies having this, and people would want to go and see because they are fascinated by it.
Myers: Corbyn is from a small group of politicians, alongside people like John Galloway, John Prescott, and Boris Johnson, who have more dimensions to them then other politicians. Corbyn is the freshest one on the scene.