Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  3w, 7m

SPIKE is an absurdly funny new play by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman that delves into the inner workings of one of the UK's most unique and brilliantly irreverent comedy minds.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 7m



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?

SPIKE was first presented at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, on 27 January 2022.
SPIKE MILLIGAN – 35. Manic, anarchic, rebellious, troubled and troublesome comic genius who is scarred by WW2 and on the brink of changing comedy forever. With his landmark radio comedy The Goon Show, he is now fighting a new war with the BBC.
PETER SELLERS – 32. The man of many voices – but rarely his own. A suave, seductive film-star in the making, he is possibly as crazy as Spike.
HARRY SECOMBE – 32. A jovial extrovert and multi-talented performer – and the voice of reason in the Goons. A natural peacemaker and the rock all can turn to.
JANET – 30s. A Foley Artist producing live sound effects and general production assistant. Undervalued, underpaid and the lifeblood of the BBC – who ensures programmes are completed on time
DENIS MAIN-WILSON – 29. Exasperated but brilliant producer of the early Goon Shows, who is constantly having to defend Spike against BBC management.
JUNE – 30. Spike’s half-Italian, long-suffering wife, therapist and nursemaid, who has to deal with his tantrums and depression.
PETER ETON - 34. Genial, avuncular, no-nonsense ex-drama BBC producer who supports Spike whilst standing up to him. Eton instils vital discipline in the anarchic The Goon Show.
BBC EXECUTIVE – 30s. Spike’s BBC nemesis He is officer class and embodies all the worst traits of 1950s management including pomposity, sexism and callousness.
MAJOR JENKINS – 30s. Spike’s military nemesis – embodying all the worst traits of 1940s army officers including pomposity, officiousness and callousness.
MYRA – 30s. Harry Secombe’s loving and loyal wife who keeps him grounded at all times.
THE CRITICS – archetypal media pundits who earnestly compete to say more ludicrous things about The Goon Show. Prone to hyperbole (though the quotes featured are real).
MILDRED – 30s. The BBC Executive’s repressed, more open-minded and intelligent wife.
PETER BROUGH – star radio ventriloquist with his puppet Archie.
BBC ANNOUNCER – classic plummy-voiced BBC announcer of the kind you don’t hear any more.
FEMALE REPORTER – well-spoken thrusting Radio Times hackette.
DOCTOR – sympathetic foil to hard-nosed Major Jenkins.


“A fast-paced, capering production.” – The Guardian

“If you like The Goons you will love it.” — The Sunday Times

“A sparkling script.” — Ox In A Box

“Moving and hilarious.” — Oxford Mail


Spike in the Eye
by Nick Newman
October 14, 2022

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

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Nick Newman

Nick Newman is an award-winning cartoonist and writer. He has worked for Private Eye since 1981 and has been pocket cartoonist for The Sunday Times since 1989. His cartoons have appeared in many other publications including The Guardian, Punch and The Spectator. He was The Ca ...

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Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop is a writer and broadcaster and has been editor of Private Eye since 1986. He has been a columnist for The Listener and The Sunday Telegraph, and TV critic for The Spectator. As a scriptwriter with Nick Newman, his work includes five years on Spitting Image, Harry ...
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