The Phone Call

A play in 1 act, by ExcelPope

ACT 1 (the only one, not sure why it gets a number, really)


JOHN MCDONNELL [OS, YELLING]: Jeremy! Pick that up! It’s the Prime Minister calling for you.

CORBYN [Picking up phone]: Hello, Prime Minister.

MAY: Ah, Mr Corbyn. I just wanted to congratulate you on a well-run campaign. You’ve really focused on the issues, and that’s what’s won people over to your cause…

CORBYN: Well it’s very kind of you to say so Pri…

MAY: …which is why I’m conceding defeat. Well done, Prime Minister

CORBYN [after a pause]: This is most unexpected. Especially with [looks at watch] the polling stations open for another 12 hours.

MAY: Yes, but we all know which way this is going to go.

CORBYN: But all the polling says…

MAY: Yes, yes, but the polls are always wrong, aren’t they? I concede. I give up. Just get on with the job.

CORBYN: Well this is most unusual, but I promise you that I’ll do an excellent job for the country. I’ll introduce a fairer society, and I’ll make life better for everyone, and I’ll get us the best possible Brexit, and…

MAY: Smashing. Sounds great. Best of luck. Anyway, I must go.

CORBYN: No. Wait a minute. This isn’t some sort of trap, is it?

MAY [nervous]: A trap? How could it possibly be a trap?

CORBYN: It’s Brexit, isn’t it? You’re scared to do Brexit.

MAY: No. No. Not at all. It’s dead easy. A walk in the park. You’ll be all over it, prime minister

CORBYN: Well most of my supporters didn’t want it to happen. And almost none of my MPs do. And we are kind of assuming that our tax base isn’t going to change while we remove free movement, and all those NHS staff, and…

MAY [panicked]: It’ll be fine! Fine!

CORBYN: I’m conceding defeat, prime minister. I never had a chance, really, did I? You deserve the next five years, you really do.

MAY: You can’t concede as well, you idiot. One of us has to win…and I thought of conceding first.

CORBYN: I’m double-conceding!

MAY: That’s not even a thing!

CORBYN: Is so!

MAY: Oh, this is getting us nowhere [pause] but maybe there’s another way [muffled] Phillip, can you patch Mr Farron into this call, please? [unmuffled] So, how’s the jam going?

CORBYN: Oh, marvellously, I’m doing a very interesting pickle this year.

MAY: How apposite.

FARRON [uncertain]: Hello?

MAY: Tim, it’s Theresa here.

CORBYN: And Jeremy.

TIM [relived]: Oh, thank goodness. I thought it was another prank call. Anyway, I’m glad you guys called, I was just about to ring to let you know that I was conceding defeat.

CORBYN: What? But you don’t even want Brexit!

MAY: Oh, smooth work, you blithering idiot!

FARRON: It’s easy for you pro-Brexit parties. At least you’ve got more than half the country and a referendum backing your stance. You don’t have to be constantly accused of ignoring the will of the people or subverting democracy. You just have to deliver a Brexit that satisfies all the different reasons that all of those millions of people voted for it, without making anybody worse…off…and…you’re both conceding as well, aren’t you?


FARRON: Oh, sweet shitting Jesus! You can’t do this to me! I wanted to concede first! I called dibs on it before the polls opened! I have witnesses! I’ll be opposition leader.

MAY: We’re all happy to be opposition leader, Tim Nice-but-dim. Being opposition leader is easy. Ooo, you’re doing it all wrong. Ooo, I’d do a much better job.

CORBYN: Well one of us has to be PM.

FARRON: Unless…


CORBYN: OK, John’s patching him in now.

MAY: Right, dumb & dumber, I do the talking, OK?


NUTTALL: Hello, Playboy Mansion, chief photographer speaking.

MAY: Cut the crap, Nuttall, this is Theresa.

NUTTALL: Oh, thank you for the call, Prime Minister. You know, when I was a lad Winston Churchill used to call me every day to…

MAY: Shut up. I’ve got Jeremy and Tim on the line as well. We’re all conceding defeat. You’re Prime Minister now.

NUTTALL: It’s lovely of you all to think of me – I haven’t felt camaraderie like this since my SAS days – but I’m conceding as well, sorry.

MAY: What are you conceding for, you slap-headed lack-wit? You can’t be scared of Brexit, it’s all you ever talk about!

NUTTALL: Ha, Brexit’s no problem, old girl, but I’m terrified of Nigel. You heard him last month; all that talk of taking up a rifle if he doesn’t get the right sort of Brexit. He’s got a house full of shotguns and mail-order knives, you know? He once gave me a Chinese-burn just for saying “single market” without spitting afterwards. I’m bound to cock up something, and then I’ve got 20 middle-aged investment bankers in cammo gear crawling through my Petunias, looking to go all Steven Woolfe on me. Count me out.

CORBYN: But if none of us will do it, then it has to be…

ALL: Nicola!

MAY: We’re patching her in now. At least she won’t turn this down.

STURGEON: Turn what down?

MAY: Congratulations, Nicola. Owing to the unprecedented conceding of all the other party leaders, you’re going to be PM.


MAY: Yes. Just think. A proper Scottish Prime Minister. Scotland on the world stage. A great triumph for your proud, strong nation…

CORBYN: …a chance to fix all those Westminster problems you keep talking about.

MAY: [Groans]

STURGEON [uncertain]: So, I wouldn’t be able to blame Scottish problems on Wastemonster?

MAY [upbeat]: But you’d have the power to control referendums. No more London politicians dictating the fate of Edinburgh.

NUTTALL: Have one every week, if you want. You’re bound to win one sooner or later.

MAY: [Sound of a pencil being snapped]

STURGEON: Ah, well, while I’m very keen to deliver Scottish independence and then be able to govern properly, I think I’d best focus on campaigning for that Indy ref, rather than being PM. I concede as well.

FARRON: If anybody cares I’m fairly sure you have to be an MP anyway.

MAY: Right, there’s only one option left. Smarten up your acts, everyone, I’m calling the boss.

CORBYN: I’m not sure I can be party to this. I am a republican, you know.

MAY: Do you want to be PM? No? Then shut up!

LIZ: Yars?

MAY: Good morning, your majesty, this is the Prime Minister. I also have Mr Corbyn, Mr Farron, Mr Nuttall and Ms Sturgeon on the line. We were just thinking, did the restoration go far enough? Isn’t it time to put the civil war behind us, and accept that mistakes were made?

LIZ: Are you all conceding?

MAY: Yes, your majesty. We were wondering if representative democracy hadn’t perhaps run its course and we should jointly recommend a return to full monarchy…in keeping with the spirit of Brexit.

LIZ: Mrs May, we have reigned for 65 years. Longer than any other British monarch. Is it too much for one to ask that you manage one general election that doesn’t end with this fucking phone-call?

End of Act 1

End of play

Start of wishing you’d just paid for tickets for The Cursed Child instead.


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