New comedy musical Say Yes To Tess – which takes the lid off the weird and wonderful world of politics – has its world premiere at Leeds Playhouse next month (March 24-April 2).
Inspired by professional writer, performer and director Tess Seddon’s real-life experiences, the show follows her decision – after a "bad break up" – to stand as the Yorkshire Party candidate for Leeds North East in the 2017 UK General Election.
Thrust into the spotlight, she takes the Yorkshire Party’s passion for people, park & rides and Yorkshire devolution to the streets. But as the election grows closer, she starts to question whether she’s doing the right thing…
Tess plays herself alongside a cast of actors, singers and musicians. She says: “Dodgy politics and regional inequality have only increased since we first tried to stage Say Yes to Tess in March 2020.
“The pandemic has made it impossible to ignore how our political system serves those at the top. It's farcical.
"So now feels like the perfect time to tell my story about how I joined a cage-fighting referee and an erotic novelist to get Yorkshire its own parliament.
“Say Yes to Tess is a story not just about me, but about how the process of standing affected everyone around me, from my passive-aggressive housemate – who had never voted in her life – to my estranged, Labour-voting Dad.
“It begins with me feeling powerless as an individual, trying to change something so big and messed up, and ends with me realising the most hopeful thing we can do is to take part.
"I wanted this to speak to audiences who find politics overwhelming, boring, or just not for them. We knew it had to be fun and passionate; what's more fun than unlikely amateur politicians singing big show tunes about changing the world?”