The Spitting Image team revealed that the script for their play has been updated to make the pranks “even tougher” on the Birmingham crowd. The update follows the opening week of performances at the REP in Birmingham.
Idiots Assemble – Spitting Image Saves The World is a skit set in the Spitting Image universe that mocks those in the spotlight with caricatured puppets. Rishi Sunak, Tom Cruise and Stormzy are among some of the puppets featured in the play, which runs at the theater through Saturday, March 11.
Co-writer Matt Forde has been part of the team to make the content as fresh as possible. After the first leg of performances took place in Birmingham last week, Matt spoke to BirminghamLive about what the response has been like so far.
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He said, “What’s really satisfying is hearing the audience’s reaction when certain puppets are revealed. Seeing those puppets live is mind-blowing.”
“When people first see Prince Harry or Suella Braverman, they get really excited. And I didn’t really bargain for that.
“There are times when you’re writing and you’re like, ‘Is it too far?’ Based on the reaction of the great people in Birmingham to the show, they want us to go even further. We’ve updated the script since last week to make it even more hard.
“It turns out that this is a particularly bloodthirsty city, and the people want blood. And we’re going to give it to them.”
Unlike the televised show where the puppeteers were hidden, the puppeteers will be visible to the crowd on stage. Co-writer Al Murray explained how the difference works in favor of the play.
Al said, “It’s like watching a live cartoon. You can do anything with these puppets. If you want them to fly, they’ll fly. If you want them to tap dance, light a sixpenny and somersault, they’ll do it.” .
“One of the cool things when we started was what we could do with the puppets. It’s an amazing process to do funny voices in the writing room and then watch them, it’s absolutely extraordinary.”
Originally, there were plans to center the play around Boris Johnson and the controversies surrounding his time as Prime Minister. But after Boris stepped down as prime minister last year, those plans were scrapped.
Voice actress Kathryn Drysdale chose Home Secretary Suella Braverman as her favorite puppet from the show. She said: “The puppet itself is a lot of fun. Just to look at.”
“Vocally, you can do a lot of fun things with her, being a ghostly Victorian/exorcist puppet woman. And there’s less pressure with that because you don’t have to sound like her vocally because she’s turned into a demonic ghost.” stuff.”
While fellow voice actress Debra Stephenson added: “It’s a great characterization, I think she’s one of the funniest characters on the show. And who would have thought Suella Braverman would become one of the funniest?
“For me, my favorite is Angela Raynor. There’s so much energy in her, she has aggression in her. I like to do her in a way where she’s a raver. We really have to take these characters off the page, the characterization is written to us, but then we have to take it from there and relate it to the puppet.”
Spitting Image director and co-writer Sean Foley said: “It’s a nice thing to be able to do here. It was first filmed for Central TV here in Birmingham, so it seems only fitting that the show starts here again. It’s a privilege to be able to do it”.
Idiots Assemble – Spitting Image Saves The World will take place throughout the month until Saturday, March 11. For ticket information, click here.