From Peter Viggers' duck house to Richard Timney's adult entertainment, parliamentary expenses are to become the subject of a new West End satire starring the comedian Ben Miller.
Acclaimed playwright Terry Johnson will direct The Duck House, a comedy set during Gordon Brown's tenure as prime minister. It has been written by Mock the Week producer Dan Patterson and Have I Got News for You writer Colin Swash. The production will begin performances at London's Vaudeville theatre at the end of November, following a five-week national tour.
Miller will play backbench Labour MP Robert Houston, who in the face of the impending election, attempts to cross the floor to the Conservative party just as he becomes embroiled in the expenses scandal. Miller said: "They say that comedy equals tragedy plus time, and traumatic as the expense scandal was, hopefully we can all now have a bloody good laugh about it. And if any MPs don't like it, they can always claim for it on expenses."
He's joined in a starry cast by Nancy Carroll, who won an Olivier award for her performance in the National theatre's revival of After the Dance three years ago; Tittybangbang star Debbie Chazen; and X Factor contender Diana Vickers, who returns to the stage for the first time in four years, following her leading role in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, also at the Vaudeville theatre. Simon Shepherd and James Musgrave complete the cast.
Writers Patterson and Swash described the parliamentary expenses scandal, which broke after the Telegraph published a series of expenses claims in 2009, as "the gift that keeps on giving", adding that the subject had allowed them to expand beyond panel-show one-liners to their first full-length play.