I want to make Dr Strangelove: The Play

Says Marcus Brigstocke

Marcus Brigstocke wants to adapt Peter Sellers comedy classic Dr Strangelove for the stage.

The comic says he has a long-held ambition for a stage version of the 1964 movie – and even once had his one-time agent try to secure the rights from director Stanley Kubrick’s estate.

But he claims she bungled the deal by asking for TV rights at the same time, and nothing came of it.

‘I haven’t wholly given up on the idea,’ he told an audience at the Bristol Slapstick festival today. ‘One day I hope to do it on stage.’

Dr Strangelove – about the build-up to a nuclear war –  was based on a thriller novel called Red Alert by Peter George,  but as development progressed, Kubrick decided on a dark comic theme for his movie.

It’s not believed that Dr Strangelove has ever been adapted for the stage; and next year would be the film’s 50th anniversary.

Brigstocke screened a clip of Sellers playing Strangelove in a festival show in which he discussed his favourite moments in comedy.

His selections included Ace Venutura: Pet Detective, Blades Of Glory, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Dumb and Dumber and Mr Bean.

‘The comedy I’ve ended up doing is ranting about social an political issues,’ Brigstocke told interviewer Graeme Garden. ‘It’s not near the stuff that actually makes me laugh.’

He added that when it comes to comedy, ‘it’s love for me. I’m passionate about stuff that makes me laugh. And it’s like it’s never joined up in my mind that I’m even in the same industry as Rowan Atkinson.’

Brigstocke also revealed that his gap-year student Giles Wemmbley-Hogg – which he co-writes with Garden – would be returning to Radio 4.

‘It’s getting harder and harder to write,’ he said. ‘Because you look at an atlas and there are few countries that he hasn’t messed up. It takes a while to write, but there will be more.’

Six series of Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off (including one special run set in the World Cup in Germany) have run on Radio 4 from 2002 to 2011.

Here is the Dr Strangelove scene Brigstocke shared:

Published: 28 Jan 2013

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.