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Micky & Mandy

Images: Gareth Milner [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr; Richard Townshend [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ivory Tower: The pilot episode for a Westminster flat-share sitcom

Voiceover: Micky & Mandy is not filmed in front of a live student audience

Title: Bubble

Interior (set): An apartment in SW1, a woman enters via the front door with a trolley suitcase

Mandy: So, this is it. Looks great. Plenty of space for one. A bit of privacy. And its furnished. Wonder what the other rooms are like.

[She exits into another room, leaving her trolley case. A second woman enters from the kitchen, humming “Angels” by Robbie Williams].

Micky: TV dinner for one and series six of The Crown coming up. Now where’s the corkscrew?

[She spots the trolley case]

Micky: Mr Cummings, is that you? [No answer] Boris? [No answer] You’re not sleeping on other people’s sofas again are you? Has Carrie thrown you out?

[Mandy enters]

Micky: What’s going on?

Mandy: What are you doing in my flat?

Micky: Your flat?

Mandy: Yes, this is the government flat for the science minister.

Micky: You’re mistaken, this is the appartment for the universities minister.

Mandy: I was told to come here by Dominic Cummings.

Micky: Well, I was told to come here by Boris Johnson. Actually it was by Dominic Cummings, if I’m being honest.

Mandy: I was told that during the pandemic ministers would be rehoused close to Westminster to avoid unnecessary travel.

Micky: What do you think I’m doing here?

Mandy: But Matt Hancock announced that the government had met its target of making 100 houses available for members of the government.

Micky: Obviously, he’s been double counting again. Two ministers in the same house help him hit his target. Funny though, I thought Robert Jenrick was the one who knew most about approving flats.

Mandy: This is no good, we can’t both stay here. I’m going to phone the super.

Micky: The building supervisor has been furloughed.

Mandy: No, I mean Dominic Cummings.

Micky: Mr Rigsby?

Mandy: Who’s he?

Micky: He’s the landlord in the 1970s sitcom Rising Damp. It’s what all the ministers housed in this block call Cummings.

Mandy: He’s the landlord?

Micky: He might as well be, he’s here every five minutes with instructions for ministers, shouting at them, criticising their interior décor…

Mandy: Well that will make a change, I haven’t seen him since I became science minister. I don’t think he’s really interested in my ideas.

Micky: Are you sure?

Mandy: He didn’t seem keen on the lockdown haircut competition and he hasn’t answered an email about pampered pets.

Micky: Awkward…You’re right though, we can’t live together because of distancing.

Mandy: Because of the virus?

Micky: No, because you’re a northern red wall Tory MP and I’m a proper Conservative from the home counties.

Mandy: How dare you. I might not be all la-de-da but I’m just as big a Tory as you are.

Micky: Prove it. Did you vote for Brexit?

Mandy: No, did you?

Micky: No, but that’s not the point. I support it now. And I backed Boris… when I realised he was going to win the leadership.

Mandy: Me too.

Micky: Maybe you are a proper Tory then.

[The front door opens, enter Dominic Cummings]

Dom: Right, shut up I don’t want to hear it.

Micky: We haven’t said anything Mr Cummings.

Dom: That sums up your ministerial careers, but whatever you were going to complain about I don’t want to hear it.

Mandy: Look Dom…err, Mr Cummings…I just wanted to check that Downing St has not made a mistake.

Dom: Downing St doesn’t make mistakes.

Micky: Mmmhhh…

Mandy: It looks like we have both been allocated the same flat.

Dom: You’re lucky to have a place. We’ve run out of houses. So, Grant Shapps has to be on a permanent tour of newsrooms, just to keep a roof over his head.

Micky: Makes sense, why else would he be on TV defending the in…

Dom: What?

Micky: Defending the incredible record of this government.

Dom: Just watch it. I can easily replace you as universities minister—once Chris Skidmore passes his loyalty exam.

Mandy: Is there something you wanted Dom?

Dom: Yes, I was just in the building to shout at Helen Whately about student nurses.

Micky: Surely students are my brief.

Dom: Do you want me to shout at you?

Micky: I don’t think that’s an effective way to communicate Mr Cummings.

Dom: Do you want to go on Newsnight and explain why student nurses who worked on Covid wards won’t be eligible for bursaries?

Micky: Helen is probably the expert on that, and besides I was about to watch The Crown.

Dom: That’s right, that’s why I came over.

Micky: You like The Crown?

Dom: No, I err…I need to test my eye-sight every so often…you know because of the virus thing.

Micky & Mandy: We know.

Dom: And this flat has the best telly in the block.

Mandy: You wanted to watch Helen’s appearance on Newsnight.

Dom: No, I wanted to watch PJ Masks.

Mandy: Is that a documentary about PPE?

Micky: Look, Dom, we need to sort out this flat. We can’t live together because of the distance.

Dom: So, what if she’s from the north? I’m from the north.

Mandy: Your family has got a castle though.

Dom: What’s that about a castle?

Micky: No, the virus.

Dom: I only stopped there for five minutes before driving back, and I would have got away with it if it hadn’t been for that pesky geography teacher.

Micky: No, I mean, we can’t share a flat because of restrictions on social interaction.

Dom: Oh that? All changed. You can bubble.

Mandy: I’m not going to cry but I’m quite upset.

Dom: You are now one household. It has been decreed by the government.

Micky: Hold on, what about social distancing?

Dom: All gone, from the fourth of July you can lick a pensioner.

Mandy: But what about all the sacrifices people have made? All those Zoom calls? All those episodes of Normal People?

Dom: All gone from the fourth of July, Independence Day.

Micky: You do know that was independence from the British?

[The front door opens, enter Boris Johnson]

Boris: Tally-ho and felicitations, people of Britain.

Dom: Boris, it’s me.

Boris: Ah Dom, what are you doing here in this apartment block reserved for female MPs?

Dom: What are you doing here?

Boris: Well, I was…err…I was…um…just looking for you actually Dom. The old tracing app told me you were here.

Dom: That doesn’t actually work, Boris.

Boris: It’s the best excuse I could come up with on the spur…

Dom: I meant the app.

Micky: Prime minister, can I fix you something?

Boris: What about schools? No you do the other thing. Big schools, what are they called? Yes, Oxford.

Mandy: What about research Boris?

Boris: Yes, best to do some research as to who lives in which flat before coming over next time.

Dom: I’ve just had a text, we need to get back to Downing St, Boris.

Boris: But I’ve only just got away, Carrie’s got me on a pretty tight leash these days.

Dom: The baby is crying.

Boris: He never stops.

Dom: Well, that’s Dominic Raab for you. He’s about to say something stupid on Sky News about Windrush being the name of a mobile home. Let’s go.

[They exit]

Micky: Well?

Mandy: Well?

Micky: I guess we are just going to have to make the best of it.

Mandy: Yeah, four more years of those two.

Micky: I meant the flat-share.

Mandy: There is a precedent for it. The other lot did it.

Micky: Who?

Mandy: Labour’s education and business ministers, Angela Rayner and Rebecca Long-Bailey used to be flat-mates.

Micky: And how did that work out?

Mandy: You’re right. It will never work, you want to watch The Crown and I was going to watch Love Island.

Micky: Why don’t we compromise?

Mandy: By watching something we both want to see?

Micky: Yes, Helen Whately is about to be hung out to dry on Newsnight.

Mandy: I’ll get the popcorn.

Micky: And I’ll get the Prosecco.

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