NEVER TRY THIS AT HOME to Play Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 27 Feb - 15 March
Inspired by legendary Saturday morning TV shows such as Tiswas and Going Live, Never Try This At Home, the latest show from the critically acclaimed Told by an Idiot, opens at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 27 February to 15 March.
A 2014 TV special is reuniting stars of a classic children's TV programme, Shushi. The atmosphere is tense. Last time the cast were together the show was cancelled for good after a celebrity went missing, an obsessive fan made his final demand and a presenter was pushed to her breaking point live on air. With this catastrophic episode recreated live on stage, Never Try This At Home returns to a long-lost era of custard pies, buckets of water and presenters under pressure.
Never Try This At Home reunites the remaining survivors of infamous fictional TV show Shushi and throws the spotlight on its presenters, who are soon to realise the insidious side to fame. This new black comedy recreates the anarchic chaos of cult children's TV. With a local house band and Shushi footage, Never Try This At Home is a hilarious, violent and disturbing exposé of the world of TV and celebrity.
The director, Paul Hunter's own experience of appearing, aged eight, on children's TV programme Tiswas was the seed of an idea for the show as Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of The REP explains:
"I've always loved the work of Told by an Idiot and I have worked with Paul Hunter on numerous occasions. Given he was born and bred in Birmingham it seemed natural to approach him about making a show for The REP - the theatre which he visited as a child and made him want to become an actor. He recalled appearing on Tiswas when he was 8-years old, the anarchy of the programme and his experience of being put in a cage and pelted with ice and that seemed like a starting point for a show."
Never Try This At Home is written by regular Told by an Idiot collaborator Carl Grose in association with the company. It is directed by co-Artistic Director Paul Hunter and the cast includes Petra Massey (co-Artistic Director of Spymonkey) alongside Niall Ashdown, Okorie Chuckwu, Stephen Harper, Dudley Rees and Ged Simmons. It is co-produced with Birmingham Repertory Theatre where it premieres, before touring to Sheffield and Edinburgh with its London run at Soho Theatre.
Formed in 1993, Told by an Idiot has established an international reputation for its comic and startlingly original productions. Recent productions include Get Happy (Barbican), Too Clever By Half (Manchester Royal Exchange), My Perfect Mind, created by Paul Hunter, Edward Petherbridge and Kathryn Hunter (Young Vic), The Dark Philosophers (National Theatre Wales) and The Comedy of Errors (RSC).