Spitting Image takes to the stage in Birmingham

Published: 5 July 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

“From the scathing to the silly”: Spitting Image Live: Featuring the Liar King Credit: Avalon and Birmingham Rep

Two world première comedies—Spitting Image puppets live on stage for the first time and a show set in Birmingham directed by Mark Gatiss—will be the first productions in 2023 at Birmingham Rep.

Spitting Image Live: Featuring the Liar King is written by Al Murray, Matt Forde and the Rep’s artistic director Sean Foley. It will run from Wednesday 1 February until Saturday 11 March.

Foley said, “it’s not often you get to direct Tom Cruise, Stormzy, Boris Johnson, Beyonce and Her Majesty the Queen all on the same bill. I’m thrilled to be part of the team bringing this iconic British comedy to the stage—in particular to be working with the inspiring Roger Law, original co-creator of this legendary show.

“From the scathing to the silly, from brutal political satire to sending up celebrity, Spitting Image has always fearlessly pointed at the emperors of our society and gleefully stripped them naked. This live show will be no different.”

Mark Gatiss will direct Ian Hallard’s The Way Old Friends Do which will open at the Rep from Friday 17 February until Saturday 4 March before going on a UK tour.

In 1988, two Birmingham school friends tentatively come out to each other: one as gay, the other—more shockingly—as an ABBA fan. Nearly 30 years later, a chance meeting sets them on a new path and they decide to form the world’s first ABBA tribute band—in drag. But can their friendship survive the tribulations of a life on the road which includes platform boots, fake beards and a distractingly attractive stranger?

Meanwhile, applications have opened for the 2023 Sky Comedy Rep programme, a partnership between the Rep and Sky to develop new comedy writing and focussed on uncovering talent from under-represented communities. Applications close on Monday 1 August. Further information is available at the Birmingham Rep web site.

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