This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour saw Idiots Assemble at the invite of Birmingham Rep.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, Lorna Laidlaw and Jess Robinson talked about voicing the puppets in this World Premiere. Listen here:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This is an adult production which contains a whole list of warnings including strong language, puppet nudity, implied violence and even audience participation.
Review: Idiots Assemble – Spitting Image Saves The World at Birmingham Rep
Directed by Sean Foley, written by Al Murray, Matt Forde and Sean Foley.
A global threat causes puppet versions of Tom Cruise and RuPaul to create a group of heroes to battle this hidden threat in a brand new comedy play with music. The talented voice cast includes Al Murray, Debra Stephenson, Kathryn Drysdale and Lorna Laidlaw plus twelve great puppeteers who also become dance and movement artists.
Spitting Image, if you don’t know or haven’t looked on YouTube, was an icon of the 80s, in a generation where famous people had fairly private lives. The only access we had to politicians were news reports or hearing their voices with drawings of them used instead of video content. Exaggerated versions of them were created by Gerald Scarfe in newspapers, but seeing them in puppet, form being given fictional traits and personality quirks was something brand new.
It is difficult to know where to begin when it comes to this World Premiere production, as there are times when the sheer madness of it all makes you sit and wonder what the hell is going on. Plus there is a huge level of nostalgia to deal with versus being current and contemporary.
I enjoyed the parody songs, I’ve always loved Spitting Image songs from The Chicken Song to songs featuring the puppets such as Genesis’ Land of Confusion.
Sweary, borderline offensive, both left-leaning and right-wing, old fashioned and yet presented in a brand new way, with the puppeteers in full view most of the time, and with the puppeteers’ legs forming the puppets legs much of the time on stage.
Jokes work best when they are bantered between a few characters and there are moments where the stage is swamped with characters. This isn’t a production for everyone, and at moments it is literally digging up corpses for its comedy musical satire. But it is a total joy to behold!
Filthy fun, Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World – Live on Stage is at Birmingham Rep until 11th March 2023. Book tickets here: birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/spitting-image-live.