Remember watching children’s TV on a Saturday morning and wanting to be part of the fun and madness? Well now you can…

Enter the world of a 2014 TV special, made to reunite 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 transports you back to a long-lost era of custard pies, buckets of water and presenters under pressure.

Inspired by legendary programmes such as Tiswas, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Going Live, and Live & Kicking, Never Try This At Home is a hilarious new comedy from critically-acclaimed Told by an Idiot, recreating the anarchic chaos of cult children’s TV.

Prepare for a disturbing look behind the forced smiles and bad clothes but be aware that anything could happen and that this show definitely isn’t for children!


“Whatever your age or experience of TISWAS, this is a joyous piece of theatre, performed by skilful clowns and directed to heights of brilliance by Paul Hunter. It is an evening of unalloyed bliss. I bloody loved it.”
Bum On A Seat

“Lots of laughs”
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Birmingham Post

“Every night offers a new story as the show combines script and improvisation so seamlessly that it is barely noticeable. There is no storyline too extreme for these actors.”
What’s On Stage

“All the cast bring a huge amount of energy to their performances, in a play that doesn’t really pause for breath in the entire ninety minutes.”
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The Public Reviews

“Petra Massey was cast beautifully as the put-upon ‘girl presenter’ trying to shove a humiliating nightmare job into her past.”
The Birmingham Press

“A lot of laughs: sharp digs at 70‘s male stars keen to drive a status-y ‘Sunflower Yellow Testarossa’, and lovely physical gags like the ultimate chaotic pie-fight being repeated in slo-mo.”
Theatre Cat

“This show is not just simply a Children’s daytime TV show put to stage. It makes strong and poignant observations about the culture of the time, particularly gender and race”
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Behind The Arras

“Dudley Rees making threats in a Frank Carson voice as a member of the “Pie-RA” hits just the right note of wrongness.”
The Times

“The show’s mixture of invention and homage, partly improvised around Carl Grose’s irreverent script, is frequently delightful.”
The Guardian

“Combines realism and witty word play with great physical expressiveness for comedy”
Remote Goat

“With shades of Noises Off, Alan Partridge and, yes, TISWAS, Never Try This At Home is a nostalgic homage to an age before the tightly scripted, crystal clean and well stage managed fare we now see on CBBC and CITV.”
Weekend Notes

“Their work is never less than sublime”
The Independent on Told by an Idiot

Co-produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Told by an Idiot
In association with Soho Theatre

Director – Paul Hunter
Designer – Michael Vale

Cast includes:

Stephen Harper
Petra Massey
Dudley Rees
Ged Simmons

Date Time Venue Notes Prices Booking


  • Address: Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EP
  • The REP’s newest auditorium. The STUDIO seats 300 people. Wheelchair seating is available.

    The STUDIO is a highly flexible performance space and stands by the entrance to the Library Of Birmingham.

  • Box Office: 0121 236 4455
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