As previously tipped (See The Goss, 20 Mar 2006), Rik Mayall will transfer the stage adaptation of his British TV comedy classic, The New Statesman, to the West End. The production, which premiered in Brighton earlier this year, opens at Trafalgar Studios for a limited season from 13 December 2006 to 27 January 2007.

Mayall (pictured) recreates his incarnation as depraved and selfish politician Alan B’Stard in the world premiere stage adaptation of The New Statesman, which was a screen hit for four series from 1987 to 1992. The series’ writers, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (whose other TV writing credits include Shine on Harvey Moon, Relative Strangers, Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart, Starting Out and Love Hurts), have updated the satirical comedy for the stage.

Parliament is in session and, Alan B’stard, former Tory and one of the shining stars of the New Labour, cabinet takes his seat in the House. Despite having a country to run, and regardless of who’s in Number 10, B’Stard is only concerned with joining the Trillionaires Club, and he doesn’t care how he gets the membership fee. Condoleezza Rice has the key, but will she allow Alan access all areas? As Blair prepares for his farewell tour, B’stard and the cabinet discuss the issues of the day – school dinners, unmarried mothers, what the Blairs will do next, and most importantly, should Beckham be reinstated as captain…

Mayall’s prolific television career includes Bottom, Blackadder, The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents… and All About George. On stage, he has taken leading roles in productions of Waiting for Godot, The Common Pursuit, Present Laughter and The Government Inspector.

The New Statesman premiered at the Theatre Royal Brighton on 19 April 2006 and visited 14 other venues on its three-month regional tour. It’s directed by Jennie Darnell (US and Them and The Dead Eye Boy at Hampstead Theatre) and produced by Howard Panter for the Ambassador Theatre Group and David Ian for Live Nation.

Currently at Trafalgar Studio 1, Daniel Kramer’s revival of Martin Sherman’s Bent, starring Alan Cumming, will now close on 9 December 2006 (See Today’s Other News).

- by Terri Paddock