Full casting has been announced for SPIKE – the comedy by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman that had its world premiere at The Watermill Theatre Newbury in January, and will be touring the UK from 6 September.
Robert Wilfort (Gavin and Stacey, Bridgerton) will take over the role of ‘Spike Milligan’, Patrick Warner (‘Peter Cook’ in The Crown, One Man, Two Guvnors and Play that Goes Wrong) will also join the production to play ‘Peter Sellers’, and Jeremy Lloyd (The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Trial by Laughter) will return to his critically acclaimed role as ‘Harry Secombe’
TV comedienne and podcaster Margaret Cabourn-Smith (Motherland, Miranda, Buffering) will reprise her role as ‘Janet’, as will James Mack (The Watermill’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Rivals, Macbeth and Journey’s End) as ‘Denis Main-Wilson / Peter Eton’, Ellie Morris (The Play That Goes Wrong, Mischief Movie Night, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery for Mischief Theatre company) as ‘June’, and Robert Mountford (The Habit of Art, The Haunting of Alice Bowles for Original Theatre Company, House and Garden for The Watermill) as ‘BBC Executive’. Peter Dukes will join the company as ‘BBC Announcer’, as will Tesni Kujore as ‘Myra’, and Sam Ducane as ‘Doctor’.
Opening at the Cheltenham Everyman, and touring to Malvern, Guildford, Oxford, Salisbury, Brighton, Darlington, Aylesbury, Glasgow, Richmond, Blackpool and Cardiff, SPIKE will be directed by Watermill Artistic Director Paul Hart, with design by Katie Lias, lighting design by Rory Beaton. The Composer is Tayo Akinbode with sound design by Tom Marshall. Anjali Mehra is Movement Director and Ruth Sullivan is the Foley Sound Consultant.
“I’m not acting crazy. I’m the genuine article.”
It’s 1950s austerity Britain, and out of the gloom comes Goon mania as men, women and children across the country scramble to get their ear to a wireless for another instalment of The Goon Show. While Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers get down to the serious business of becoming overnight celebrities, fellow Goon and chief writer Spike finds himself pushing the boundaries of comedy, and testing the patience of the BBC.
Flanked by his fellow Goons and bolstered by the efforts of irrepressible sound assistant Janet, Spike takes a flourishing nosedive off the cliffs of respectability, and mashes up his haunted past to create the comedy of the future. His war with Hitler may be over, but his war with Auntie Beeb – and ultimately himself – has just begun.
Will Spike’s dogged obsession with finding the funny elevate The Goons to soaring new heights, or will the whole thing come crashing down with the stroke of a potato peeler?
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman said, “It’s a privilege to take ‘Spike’ on tour, exploring the genius of Britain’s most inspirational and ground-breaking comedian. And of course, it’s another chance to steal all his jokes and pass them off as our own. Spike Milligan may be Goon, but he’s not forgotten.”
The Watermill production of Spike is produced by Karl Sydow, Trademark Films, PW Productions and Anthology Theatre.