The Lee Letter (Play reading)
Part of the NZ Fringe Festival 2021
Written by Claire Robinson
Directed by Ross Jolly
It will come as a surprise to many today, that Michael Joseph (Joe) Savage, the Labour Party’s first ‘rockstar’ leader, was likely also New Zealand’s first closeted gay Prime Minister. Set during the turbulent 1935-‘40 period, The Lee Letter explores the deadly power struggle between an increasingly unstable and medication-reliant Savage and his “frenemy”, popular socialist MP John A (Jack) Lee.
Once sharing a radical utopian vision for New Zealand, both men eventually destroyed each other’s political careers before either could realise that vision.