Reviews are in for Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World at Birmingham Rep.
The highly anticipated stage adaptation of the classic TV series is brought to life on stage with 106 puppets!
Directed by Sean Foley with designs by Alice Power, the show has a script by Sean Foley, Al Murray & Matt Forde.
World famous celebrities are 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. Billed as a show simultaneously inspired and appalled by real events, the topical satire comes with its own smug trigger warner.
The show is at Birmingham Rep until 11 March 2023. Dates for a London run are to be announced.
Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image The Musical reviews
"Spitting Image is a spectacle. The puppetry is a pleasure to watch. But it’s light on laughs."
"The stage show has an advantage over its TV counterpart – seeing the puppets up close is impressive. The puppeteers are the stars of this two-hour show, deftly manipulating the cast of characters for dance numbers and slow-motion sequences (the fight scene starring Tom Cruise is a highlight). "
"But bulk of the joke-writing is predictable, leaning into cliches, catchphrases and obvious punchlines."
"Spitting Image ‘live’? Mission impossible – yet accomplished"
"Ian McKellen hammily presides over the theatrical frolics and a quest emerges, of offence-giving fun in which no one is Spared"
"Spitting Image is ‘live on stage’ - as you remember it in its prime but also as you’ve never seen it before, with elaborate musical in-jokes and surprise dollops of swearing as it expectorates its disgust at the state of the nation."
"The evening triumphs through technical slickness, loving attention to detail, a high gag-rate and character-count and a trenchant storyline (by Foley, Matt Forde and Al Murray)."
“Puppets make fun but faltering march to the stage”
"It’s impressive to see 106 beautifully crafted puppets over the course of two hours, especially when manipulated by just 12 performers. But the jokes, written by Matt Forde, Al Murray and Sean Foley, consist mainly of a politician or celebrity saying the most obvious thing."
"It’s not always great satire, but at times it is great fun. The best thing is the puppets, which, despite their fixed expressions, seem to take on all countenances as their grey-suited manipulators dance them around the stage."
"Polish but not enough bite"
"There is too much going on in Sean Foley’s production for it to get boring, exactly. This is a stunning technical achievement."
"It never gets into fourth gear as a comedy, though. Yes, there is some wriggle room for topical adjustments in the script by Foley, Al Murray and Matt Forde."
"As an excuse to see these creations in action, it’s fun. As a satirical fantasy, it’s jolly but conservative."