- Posted By: Glenn Rice on: Thu, 19th Sep 2013 at 10:23am
The MPs' expenses scandal that outraged Britain in 2009 is set to be lampooned in a new comedy, The Duck House, starring Ben Miller as fictional Labour backbencher Robert Houston. It will open at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre on 27 November following a five-week UK tour.
The play also stars Olivier Award-winning actress Nancy Carroll and X Factor star Diana Vickers.
Written by Dan Patterson of BBC2's Mock the Week with Have I Got News For You and Private Eye writer Colin Swash, The Duck House is named after the floating ornamental duck island purchased with taxpayer's money by Tory MP Sir Peter Viggers, which became emblematic of the scandal.
Ben Miller is best known for his TV work, including the Armstrong and Miller Show and Death In Paradise. he was a member of the original West End cast of The Ladykillers in 2012.
Nancy Carroll has worked extensively with the RSC and National Theatre. Among her theatre credits are You Never Can Tell at the Garrick Theatre, Mammals at the Bush Theatre and The Recruiting Officer at the Donmar Warehouse.
Vickers played the title role in a 2009 West End revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, for which she won London Newcomer of the Year at the Theatregoers' Choice Awards. Her debut single, Once, charted at number one on the UK Singles Chart in 2010, followed by a number one debut album.
The Duck House begins in May 2009, with Gordon Brown's Government fighting for its life and a General Election looming. Labour backbencher Robert Houston loves being an MP and will do anything to save his seat - including change sides. His defection to the Tories is going smoothly, until the expenses scandal breaks.
With public fury mounting over taxpayers' millions being frittered away on second homes, moat-cleaning, cable porn and duck houses, Robert soon finds himself in big trouble.
The play is directed by Tony and Olivier award-winner Terry Johnson, whose prior credits include Hysteria and End of the Rainbow.