Characters

John Smith MP

Played by Roy Donoghue

The eponymous Minister of Defence for the sitting Coalition Government, this life-long Tory has a few skeletons in his closet and more than one mistress. Ambitious and battling with sprawling Defence Budget cuts, it’s not until his sudden and tragic death that the extent of his activities as a gay rights campaigning, cross-dressing chanteuse become unveiled. Or is that the other John Smith

Monica

Played by Lucia Coward

Faithful secretary to John Smith MP, Monica juggles his public social calendar and personal affairs with consumate ease. Then again, not so difficult when she’s usually the focus of his social and political activity — in more ways than one. Despite the frustration of not being his significant other, the mistress tries to shield him from the harsh realities of public office, flak from his shady deals, his interfering Private Secretary, Harper and of course, his wife, Dierdre. One day, she hopes they can just get away from the Political Circus and make a new life. Preferably somewhere hot.

Harper

Played by Howard Scott Walker

Harper has that most unenviable of jobs — Private Secretary to John Smith in the Ministry of Defence. A denizen of the Corridors of Power, he has access to (and visibility of) his Minister at even the most delicate and indeed inappropriate of times. Educated at a very expensive private school, Harper is steeped in the arts of diplomacy and tact, subtlety is his byword, discretion his badge of honour. What private thoughts and plans he has he keeps strictly to himself. Well, almost.

John Smith (aka Dorothy)

Played by Phil Quinn

John Smith is a female impersonator who would like you to respect her lifestyle choice and call her Dorothy. She’s passionate about all the things that matter in life — gay rights and Cats Protection — but most of all the theatrical highlights of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Recently took out a large loan to have a sex change, but will the debts be called in before her final curtain call?

George

Played by Andrew Cullum

George is an undertaker, but deep down he’s an Economist. Over the years, he has established that the role of mortician is one that, when handled correctly can offer opportunities to “generate your own business” as it were whilst at the same time supplementing one’s income by offering certain, let’s call them, “premium waste disposal services” to those minded to take advantage. He has a few high-profile clients for these services who know that the right price will guarantee them a discreet and efficient service. People are his currency.

Gregor

Played by Craig Shelton

Gregor is George’s assistant. A large man of few words but often quite spectacular actions, he is invaluable to George in that he offers the “competitive edge” required in the discreet waste disposal business. He enjoys his job, in fact he probably enjoys it just a little bit too much. Gregor speaks little English. He’s Hungarian, or French, or something like that. Oh, he’s also a very good shot…

John Smith (The man who would be Lear)

Played by Jeremy Heynes

A legend in his own mind. A consummate thespian, Mr. Smith has dedicated much of his career to the development of his ground-breaking one-man King Lear pièce de résistance. Sadly, his wild enthusiasm for the project has never been shared by the Royal Shakespeare Company, nor indeed any other theatrical enterprise, so now, in the twilight of his career, he has elected to take the bull by the horns and stage the production himself. He dedicates himself to the task in hand with a relentlessly single-minded focus that is impressive to behold.

Ginger Harrod

Played by Roger Harding and Roger Harding

Ginger is John The Actor’s handiman, his personal assistant (unpaid), his cameraman, his aide-de-camp. Whilst most definitely not the sharpest tool in the box, Ginger makes up for any shortages in the thinking or communication departments by mastering a willingness to take orders, work hard and offer moral support as John The Great Actor lays plans for domination of the theatrical world. Could his penchant for online Russian brides wreck this plan though?

Simon & Hefin

Played by Nicholas J. Rose and Owain Ford

Simon and Hefin are undertakers, rivals to George and Gregor. They have recently inherited a funeral business and intend to drag the staid old parlour kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Dammit, with their blue-sky thinking, marketing nouse and creative splendour, they will turn the ailing old firm around and build it into the finest place to get laid out in all of Leamington Spa.

The Vicar

Played by Bryan Ferriman

The Vicar is a likeable old cove. Originally drawn to his calling by the lure of the freely available sacramental wine, he has found the role to be one that pleases him, although he often struggles to remember what exactly it is that does so. In fact, he often struggles to remember anything at all; especially the “day after”. A pillar of the local community, he is well-loved and widely tolerated as an active participant in institutions such as the Women’s Guild, the Parish Council and many local hostelries.

Joy

Played by Kate Sandison

Joy is a church administrator, responsible for many things including taking bookings for funerals and keeping the Vicar in check. Efficient and trustworthy, albeit beset by the encumbrance of a succession of incompetents, she is all you would want or need in a job such as hers. Interestingly, however, Joy has a secret life — she is an active participant in the L.E.A.R. organisation. If you have a white beard, she might give you a call…

Sir Joseph

Played by Keith Railton

Sir Joseph is the Head of MI5’s top secret Section G surveillance team. Originally recruited whilst studying Art History at Cambridge in the 1970s, he never really understood why they’d targeted him, but nevertheless took to the job with gusto, making sure he memorised every John Le Carre book. Never actually involved in Field Operations per se, he elected instead to work his way up through the deskbound hierarchy, moving smoothly through the ranks until he reached the very pinnacle of the organisation.

Keeping his head down and his hands clean, Sir Joseph now controls his Operations Teams tightly, making sure he passes on all he has learned. Which isn’t much, to be perfectly honest.

Ruth Peters

Played by Olivia Hunter

Ruth is the Bright Young Thing in MI5’s top secret Section G surveillance team. She knows that, if she does her job properly, one day she can impress enough people and be running the whole department. Unlike most of her MI5 colleagues she has got to where she is on basis of ability rather than the Old School Tie. This ability has been sorely tested in the past, but experience has taught her to not get mad, but to get well and truly even. Remember, she’s watching. Politicians beware!

Svetlana

Played by Krisha Harman

Svetlana (not her real name) is part of the highly-skilled Section G surveillance team at MI5. A master of disguise and deception, her past life as an out-of-work voice actor holds her in good stead. She is usually called upon to go deep undercover, whilst usually being deeply under covered. Don’t mess with her though, she might kick you in the яйца.

Lee

Played by Nick Lancaster

Lee was recently recruited to Section G whilst cross-training at his local Gym (how times have changed). To be fair, he was merely trying to chat up a hot looking Russian on the next bench, but that doesn’t matter now. He’s just happy they are continuing his Gym membership and paid for the reconstructive groin surgery. Lee is usually the first one to jump out of a moving car and chase a suspect for five miles. No-one has told him that MI5 is not really like Spooks.

The Dictators

The Dictators are recruited by L.E.A.R. to help publicise their actions and create a media stir. Messrs Hitler, Pinochet, Galtieri and Hussein find their activities impacted by the somewhat incongruous addition to their fold of the even more incongruous figure of Ivan the Terrible. Editor’s Note: Owing to certain unavoidable availability issues, the roles of Herr Hitler, Senor Pinochet, General Galtieri, Mr. Hussein and Mr. Terrible will be played by actors.