It was only a matter of time. In this case, surprisingly little time. Barely a third of the way into his first 100 days in office, Barack Obama is set to appear on the London stage – in a musical. OK, the man himself won't actually tread the boards – nor will an actor have the impossible task of living up to the immensely popular President. Rather, Obama on My Mind, which will play in North London's charming Hen and Chickens pub next month, is a political comedy about the determined individuals behind the campaign to get Obama into the White House, set to 14 pop, gospel, jazz and Motown tunes. Teddy Hayes, a Cleveland-born crime-writer and film-maker who has been living in London for 13 years was inspired to write the piece when he started canvassing overseas Americans in the run-up to the election.
His campaign videos – including the rap song "I'm voting for Obama" – can be found on YouTube. "During the process I ran across some very interesting and amusing characters that somehow tickled my funnybone," explains Hayes. "This got me to thinking, well maybe Obama himself wasn't funny but certainly there were workers in the campaign who could be an inspiration for a comedy. I thought that this could be a good opportunity to use the characters I met to not only have a good laugh but also to say something about the American political election process."
For a sneak preview, listen to jazz diva and Jools Holland stalwart Ruby Turner singing the title track – sample lyric: "The change comes with a man/ Who is both black and white/ And his destiny's to help the world/ Uniiite" – at www.theobamamusical.com