A female Prime Minister in number 10? A Government divided over Europe? Close political friends knifing each other? That’s right, it must be the early ninties.

Jonathan Maitland’s play Dead Sheep arrives at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley next Wednesday (November 30) after playing to packed crowds during its UK tour.

It tells the story behind the infamous speech which brought down one of the most powerful Prime Ministers of the modern age. A speech made all the more remarkable as it was delivered by a former friend, political soul mate and a man whose debating style had been described as “…being savaged by a dead sheep.”

The play is set in 1990 when Margaret Thatcher holds an iron grip over her cabinet. Many are too frightened to speak their minds but one, the recently sacked Foreign Secretary, has had enough.

With the support of his loving wife Elspeth, Geoffrey Howe overcomes his limitations to deliver one of the most powerful pieces of political oratory ever recorded in Hansard. It was a speech that changed a nation’s destiny and brought to an end a regime that Howe himself had helped to construct.

This behind-the-scenes investigation into political and human intrigue boasts a strong cast which includes Paul Bradley (Holby City, EastEnders) as Geoffrey Howe, Carol Royle (Casualty) as Elspeth Howe and Graham Seed, (The Archers) in the dual role of Ian Gow and Nigel Lawson. The cast also boasts the talents of Spitting Image’s Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher.

Maitland, the playwright, broadcaster and former Sutton Guardian journalist says that the casting of Nallon was a ‘no-brainer’.

He told us: “Steve came and did the reading and we knew instantly that he was right. He not just sounds and moves like her but he is also a really good actor. This is not a fireworks performance and it works brilliantly with the other characters. In fact, I think he gives a performance stronger than Meryl Streep’s!”

The play received rave reviews when it debuted at the Park Theatre in 2015 and has since enjoyed a successful tour. However, there have been some alterations to the script since its premier.

Maitland said: “There are some Post-Brexit gags. A particular reference to the US President was warmly received by the audience. The characters also describe the complexities of leaving Europe as similar to ‘reversing a vasectomy’ and that was a quarter of a century ago.”

But the author stresses that this does not alter the feel of the play. He says: “There are so many similarities between 1990 and now. A Tory PM loses their job over Europe (Thatcher/Cameron); a close ally betrays the Leader (Howe/Gove); maverick outsider attempts to take the Leadership (Heseltine/Johnson) and the list goes on. It just seems like a natural fit.”

Maitland is keen to emphasise that this is not a show based solely around forgotten Machiavellian manoeuvrings in Westminster.

He says: “You do not need to be interested in politics to enjoy this show. This is a human drama about a put-upon bloke in a high-flying role. He hates his job and doesn’t believe in his bosses convictions.”

Added into this mix is the fiery relationship between his boss and his beloved wife Elspeth. “They did not get on,” explains Maitland, “leaving poor Geoffrey trapped between two powerful women.”

It is very much Howe who is the centre of this production rather than the former PM. The author tells us: “I have seen a few plays and films about Mrs Thatcher but what always struck me was this incredible human story about a man who wants to do the right thing.

“He makes a speech in Parliament that he knows could bring down the Government but one that nobody believed he could. He was a fantastically un-charismatic man who, after years of being downtrodden and bullied, delivered the fatal blow to a leader who possessed absolutely no self-doubt. In the end, he said what he truly believed and he brought down a Prime Minister. He was the mouse that roared.”

Dead Sheep is at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, from November 30 to December 3. Go to churchilltheatre.co.uk.