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Spitting Image live stage show at Birmingham Rep – first look images released

The infamous puppets are back... live on stage!

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Idiots Assemble Spitting Image Saves the World
© Mark Senior

Production photography has been released for Birmingham Rep's current world premiere of Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World.

Based on Peter Fluck and Roger Law's BAFTA and Emmy award-winning satirical television series, which originally ran for 18 series between 1984 and 1996 before recently returning to the BritBox streaming service and ITV, the live stage adaptation runs until 11 March 2023.

Director and co-writer Sean Foley commented: "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 three 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."

Foley has penned the script with Al Murray and Matt Forde.

Murray said: "It's a who's who of the good, the bad and the ugly. 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?"

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 creative team also includes caricaturist 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, producer for Birmingham Rep Chloe Naldrett, general manager Emma Brunjes and executive producers Richard Allen-Turner and Jon Thoday for Avalon.

Angela Rayner, RuPaul and Tyson Fury
© Mark Senior

Alongside Murray and Forde, the company of voice-over artists includes Debra Stephenson, Jess Robinson, Jojo Lin, Jason Forbes, Josh Berry, Kathryn Drysdale, Lorna Laidlaw, Luke Kempner, Ronan Summers and Shri Patel.

Carrie and Boris Johnson
© Mark Senior

The puppeteers for the production 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.

King Charles III and Paddington Bear
© Mark Senior
Ian McKellen
© Mark Senior
Stormzy and Tom Cruise
© Mark Senior
The Tory Cabinet
© Mark Senior
King Charles III
© Mark Senior

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