Watermill Theatre’s Ian Hislop & Nick Newman Spike homage in autumn tour

Olivier Award-winning actor John Dagleish will reprise his critically-acclaimed role as Spike Milligan this autumn in a national tour of Ian Hislop & Nick Newman’s affectionate homage, Spike

The comedy, that had its world premiere at The Watermill Theatre in January, will be directed by Watermill artistic director Paul Hart.

It’s 1950s austerity Britain, and out of the gloom comes Goonmania 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.”

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.”

John’ theatre credits include: Sylvia, A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic); Common (The National Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Young Vic).

He has also appeared on stage in The Winter’s Tale/Harlequinade (The Garrick); Sunny Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre/Harold Pinter Theatre, Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical); Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat; The Mother (Producer Royal Court Theatre).


September 6 – 10, Cheltenham Everyman
September 13 – 17, Malvern Festival Theatre
September 20 – 24, Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford
September 27 – October 1, Oxford Playhouse
October 4 – 8, Salisbury Playhouse
October 11 – 15, Theatre Royal, Brighton
October 25 – 29, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
November 1 – 5, Glasgow King’s Theatre
November 8 – 12, Richmond Theatre
November 15 – 19, Blackpool Grand
November 22 – 26, New Theatre Cardiff