“Spitting Image,” the iconic British satirical puppet show rebooted for streamer BritBox U.K., is set to make its stage debut at London’s West End in 2022.
The target of the show will be beleaguered U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently battling a wave of criticism over parties allegedly held at 10, Downing Street during Christmas and lockdowns, and a wave of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
“Spitting Image” co-creator Roger Law said: “The last month has shown ‘Spitting Image’ has been far too kind to Boris and his pals on TV recently. So to deliver the kind of sharp satire and laughter they deserve, [we] have decided to make a live production. Whilst Boris and his boys and girls level themselves ever upwards to the sunny uplands… we are preparing to level them down to size in a West End theatrical show.”
The image revealed by producers Avalon shows an image of the show’s Johnson puppet juxtaposed against a “Lion King” style poster.
“We can’t give too much away at this time, possibly because we’re still writing it, however, unlike Boris, we will deliver with no shortcuts,” Law added. “I’m afraid there will be lies because it’s Boris. I can tell you that we have devised a spectacular show-stopping ending, a huge carnival head of Boris that fills the stage will open its mouth and spews a snowstorm of paper lies all over the theatre. The lies printed on small pieces of paper will flutter down onto the audience, who will be able to pick up their favourite Boris untruths and take them home as mementoes. Videndum spectaculum!”
Since returning in 2020, “Spitting Image” has delivered solid numbers for BritBox U.K., the streaming platform created by BBC and ITV. One-off specials for U.K. broadcaster ITV have been successful, with a 4.4 million audience for the U.S. election special and a 2021 Halloween special becoming the channel’s second most watched show on the Saturday it was broadcast. A Christmas special is scheduled for this Christmas Eve.
Series 2 of the show has introduced new puppets of prominent figures, including Emma Raducanu, Olivia Colman, Sajid Javid, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Tom Cruise, Tom Daley, Jess Phillips, Ariana Grande, Gary Lineker, Bill Gates and Ellen DeGeneres, adding to the existing cast of hundreds of puppets of global figures, including Joe Biden, Johnson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Prince Andrew, Vladimir Putin, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Beyoncé, Angela Merkel, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Sheeran, Elon Musk, Adele, James Corden, Emmanuel Macron, Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump.