Jimmy Savile: The Punch and Judy Show

You can imagine how it might have happened. Down at the pub a few months back. A couple of friends sat downing the dregs of their third pint. Someone switches the bar’s TV over to the news. The BBC's in crisis, the nation in shock. 'I know', says the first. Let's call him Mark. 'This whole Savile thing. What if we make a fringe show about it?' The second, Tom, looks sceptical. Mark is undeterred. 'Seriously. What if we got puppets. Like those old Victorian ones. Everyone likes puppets.'

Tom stops staring at his pint glass and smiles. He's being won over. 'Or' he smirks, 'we could not have puppets and bullshit the audience instead. They got lost in a fire or something? It'll just be just like Savile. He bullshitted. Satire. Let's not have puppets.' Mark gets up from his usual chair in the corner of the room and comes back with a pen.

They might not have had paper, but they used napkins. ‘So, let's talk plot.' 'What plot?' replies Tom. 'Savile had clearly lost the plot when he was abusing all those kids, so let's just not have one. We can just improvise. You've improvised before, right?' 'Sort of...' begins Mark. 'You remember when I got pissed at Dave's and pretended to be Thatcher? I can do her. I mean, it's only really one voice and sounds nothing like her. But who cares? I can put on a black sweater and be Louis Theroux. And act posh with a wig and be a BBC guy. That's the whole cast right there.'

'Great!' replies his friend. 'I mean, thinking about it mate, all your impressions sound the same and your idea of improv is just to ramble inanely about something completely irrelevant before hiding round the corner. Oh, and if you forget what's happening, just ask me in front of the audience what the next scene is. I'll have one of these napkins on a chair next to us so we can check, just to be sure. Really, it's all pretty awful, but Savile was awful too.'

'Talking of which', he continues, 'I've watched that Theroux documentary a few times, so I can take on Jimmy himself. My gran's from Leeds, so I can do the accent. And if things get awkward I can just make one of my signature off-the-cuff witty remarks. Like asking a guy in the audience to fill me up. You know...like sex.' Mark seems impressed: 'And if you get the chance, you should pretend to grope a girl and say she's thirteen. Satire, mate.'

'Nearly done' smiles Tom. 'How long should it be?' Mark pauses. 'How about twenty minutes, but advertise for forty? It's not fair, but do you think Savile was fair? Didn't think so. Cutting-edge comedy. And the tickets? Pay as much as you like at the end or £5 in advance?'

'Perfect, mate. This whole drama lark is easy. You wonder what all the fuss is when we can come up with this over a pint.'

Reviews by Andrea Valentino

Performances

The Blurb

That’s the way to do it! Goodness gracious, guys'n'gals, the (g)ripping yarn of how national treasure Sir James Savile OBE fixed the nation. Possibly puppet free. www.deserthearts.com / www.Pay-What-You-Want.info