Friday, January 27

Voice over artists announced for Idiots Assemble – Spitting Image Saves the World at Birmingham Rep

Twelve voice-over artists, a mix of actors, impressionists and comedians have just started work on recording voices for over one hundred Spitting Image characters for the World Premiere of the stage show, Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World which previews at Birmingham Rep from 1st February.

They are:  Al Murray (The Royal Variety Performance, Al Murray’s Happy Hour, Why Does Everyone Hate the English? We Have Ways of Making You Talk), Debra Stephenson (The Impressions Show, Dead Ringers, Rich Hall’s Election Breakdown, Newzoids, Coronation Street and Bad Girls), Jess Robinson (Spitting Image, The Last Leg, Stars in Their Ears, and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Britain’s Got Talent, Jojo Lin (Spitting Image Puppeteer), Jason Forbes (The Tracy Ullman Show, The Mash Report and Horrible Histories: The Movie and Borg Mcenroe), Josh Berry (Josh Berry’s Fake News,  NewsJack, Dead Ringers, The Tracey Ullman Show and The Michael McIntyre Show), Kathryn Drysdale (Bridgerton, Meghan Markle in The Windsors, Christmas on Mistletoe Farm, The Bubble, The Queen and I and Plebs), Lorna Laidlaw (Mrs Tembe in Doctors, Aggie in Coronation Street, Getting It Straight and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Birmingham Rep), Luke Kempner (Spitting Image, Steph’s Packed Lunch, The Last Leg, Stand-up Sketch Show and The Imitation Game) Matt Forde (Spitting Image, Unspun with Matt Forde, The Royal Variety Performance, Have I Got News for You, The Political Party podcast and British Scandal) Ronan Summers (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Krays: Code of Silence, Doctor Who and Episodes) and Shri Patel (Rishi Sunak in This England, Emmerdale and Pennyworth)

With a creative team that includes original Spitting Image co-creator, Roger Law, alongside a comedy tour de force writing team of Al Murray, Matt Forde and Sean Foley, Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World promises to be the unmissable, laugh-out-loud show to kick-start 2023. 

The full creative team is:   Director Sean Foley, writers Al Murray, Matt Forde and Sean Foley, Caricaturist Supremo Roger Law, Set Designer, Alice Power, Video Designer Nina Dunn, Sound Designer Paul Groothuis, Lighting Designer Tim Mitchell, Puppet Master Scott Brooker, Costume Designer Lotte Collet, Choreographer Lizzi Gee, Composer Felix Hagan, Associate Composer and Musical Director Alexander Bermange Production Manager John Rowland, Associate Director Nyasha Gudo, Associate Sound Designer Simon King, Assistant Set Designer Catherine Morgan, Puppet Casting Director Mikey Brett, Creators of Spitting Image Peter Fluck and Roger Law, Producer for Birmingham Rep Chloe Naldrett, General Manager Emma Brunjes and Executive Producers Richard Allen-Turner and Jon Thoday for Avalon.

The puppeteers are:  Will Palmer, Tom Quinn, Katie Bradley, Rayo Patel, Paula Brett, Jojo Lin, Kaidan Dawkins, Chand Martinez, Pena Liyambo, Faye Weerasinghe, Bertie Harris and Helen Parke.   

World famous celebrities will be thrown together as Tom Cruise is tasked by King Charles with saving Great Britain. Greta Thunberg duets with Stormzy as Putin and Xi watch on from their premium seats in the stalls. Have they just come out for a night on the town? Or will they wipe out all of civilisation?  A show simultaneously inspired and appalled by real events.

Sean Foley said: ‘Trying to develop a satirical comedy based on the shifting politics of today has been the original fool’s errand: we’ve already thrown away 3 entire scripts – and several famous puppets aren’t even going to make their stage debuts anymore… But the sheer joy of casting Tom Cruise alongside King Charles, Greta Thunberg, RuPaul, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has made up for it. To be premiering this theatrical extravaganza in Birmingham, the home of the original ground-breaking television series, is a wonderful thrill.’

‘It’s a who’s who of the good, the bad and the ugly’ commented Al Murray. ‘I know Marvel like to say it, but our show is the greatest cross over event of all time.  Where else could you get Michael Gove, Tom Cruise, Sir Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, Daniel Craig, Fiona Bruce and Paddington Bear on a single stage?’

Matt Forde added: ‘We are living through an insane, abnormal, infuriating period, so the timing of this show couldn’t be better. It’s vital that we see our leaders lampooned with cutting satire and yes, whacked over the head with a big stick.’

The BAFTA and Emmy award-winning satirical Spitting Image television series originally ran for 18 series between 1984 and 1996 and was watched by over 15 million viewers. It recently made a popular return to TV on BritBox, where across official social media channels, Spitting Image content has been hugely popular with over 200 million views globally, three number 1 trending videos on YouTube and achieved critical praise across the political divide.  Three one-off specials for ITV have also seen huge success on terrestrial television: with a 4.4 million audience achieving ITV’s highest Saturday night ratings at that time in four years.

Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World, Live on Stage is presented by Avalon and Birmingham Rep. https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/spitting-image-live/

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