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Islington resident Boris Johnson lampooned in latest show from town hall playwright

Robert Khan (left) and Tom Salinsky, the writers of Kingmaker Robert Khan (left) and Tom Salinsky, the writers of Kingmaker

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
2:22 PM

Mayor of London and Islington dweller Boris Johnson is set to be lampooned in the latest offering from the Town Hall’s resident playwright.

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Alan Cox in KingmakerAlan Cox in Kingmaker

Kingmaker, co-written by Bunhill ward councillor Robert Khan, premieres at Edinburgh’s fringe festival next month and delves into the often Machiavellian world of politics.

The play, featuring Alan Cox who appeared in The Dictator and once starred opposite Laurence Olivier, tells the tale of a bumbling, charismatic, former London Mayor and his attempts to become prime minister.

But unlike his previous two plays, Cllr Khan says there is more to the production than comedy.

“We wanted to explore certain types of characters in politics, like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. Normal laws of politics don’t seem to apply to them and we are trying to explain why that should be the case.

“For example, some would argue Boris does many things that aren’t in the best interests of London but gets away with it. He has been embroiled in scandals which would leave most politicians in trouble.

“But it seems to fly off him like he’s made of Teflon

“Whether it’s their charisma or what, I don’t know.

“It’s not straight comedy, it’s a serious issue, although hopefully be some laughs.”

Kingmaker is the third play Cllr Khan has written with former university chum Tom Salinksy.

Their previous outings, a send up of the current government called Coalition and Making news; a satirical look at a 24-hour newsroom, both opened to critical acclaim.

“We wanted to go back to political subject matter, “ said Cllr Khan. “Obviously it makes sense for me as a local councillor.

“I’ve been writing since university, relatively unsuccessfully it has to be said. But the coalition government provided such good subject matter that it acted as a springboard.

“Kingmaker premiers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so I am very excited about that.”

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