Olivier Award-winning actor John Dagleish (Sunny Afternoon, Farming, The Third Day) will reprise his critically acclaimed role as ‘Spike Milligan’ this autumn, as SPIKE – the comedy by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman that had its world premiere at The Watermill in January – tours the UK.
Opening at the Cheltenham Everyman on 6 September, and touring to Malvern, Guildford, Oxford, Salisbury, Brighton, 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.
Full casting will be announced shortly.
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 theBBC.
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 groundbreaking 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.”
John Dagleish said, “I’m so thrilled to be playing Spike Milligan again and take this fantastically funny play around the country in what will be my first ever touring production. Such a brilliant script, with a wonderfully talented cast, celebrating the life and work of one of the all-time comedy greats.”
The Watermill production of Spike is produced by Karl Sydow, Trademark Films, PW Productions and Anthology Theatre.
FULL TOUR DATES
Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 September Cheltenham Everyman
Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 September Malvern Festival Theatre
Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 September Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford
Tuesday 27 Sept – Saturday 1 October Oxford Playhouse
Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 October Salisbury Playhouse
Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 October Theatre Royal, Brighton
Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 October Waterside, Aylesbury
Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 November Glasgow King’s Theatre
Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 November Richmond Theatre
Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 November Blackpool Grand
Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 November New Theatre, Cardiff