It was the TV quiz scandal that continues to give, we couldn’t stop talking about it back in 2001 and now, 21 years later, it’s still the topic of conversation among lovers of a bit of television sculduggery.
In fact, the TV scandal was actually turned into a major TV series itself. QUIZ explores the real-life story of Charles Ingram, aka the Coughing Major, who conned the world’s most popular TV quiz show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire out of £1,000,000. Or did he?
Before the TV drama, Quiz was a highly successful, Olivier Award nominated play by James Graham. Now, our top satirical impressionist and renowned comedian, RORY BREMNER will be starring as Chris Tarrant in the first ever national tour of this brilliant show.
Back in 2018 Quiz, transferred to London’s West End with sensational reviews, following a sold-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre. It’s currently out on a 9-week UK tour, getting to the New Theatre in Cardiff from Wednesday, through to Saturday 21st October.
Of course, there is a real South Wales link to this story. Newport born Michael Sheen played Chris Tarrant in the 2020 series alongside Matthew Macfadyen and Sian Clifford.
Having Rory in the lead role is a real treat for us as anyone who has seen his ‘Chris Tarrant‘ will attest. Take a look at the Quiz trailer and you’ll see what we mean.
Described as ‘a one-man opposition party’ (Daily Telegraph). Rory has provided definitive impersonations of PMs and Presidents from Major, Blair, Cameron and Brown, to Clinton, Bush and Trump. As himself, he’s been a presenter, writer, quiz-show host, actor, translator and even (briefly) ballroom dancer (Strictly Come Dancing, 2011).
Speaking about his new role in Quiz, Rory told us……
“I’m very excited about this; not just the challenge of playing Chris Tarrant in long form but bringing the scandal that really caught the public’s imagination to a live audience every night. What really happened? The jury’s out – and this time it’s you!
I didn’t have to phone-a-friend. It wasn’t even 50/50. This was a role I had to take on, with A: a brilliant director; B: a terrific script; C: a different audience live each night; and D: a story that divides opinion to this day. Final answer? Ask the audience!”
Joining Rory is Emmerdale star CHARLEY WEBB, in her first professional stage role and recently on screens in Better (BBC). Alongside her is LEWIS REEVES, who appeared in I May Destroy You and The Midwich Cuckoos, and TV star of hits including Northern Lights, Waterloo Road and most recently Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators, MARK BENTON.
In addition, playing multiple roles is LEO WRINGER, who has had a prolific career on stage spanning over four decades, comedian and actress SUKH OJLA, whose recent screen credits include the streaming phenomenon Bridgerton and MARC ANTOLIN whose stage career has seen him take on West End musicals and plays, most notably Little Shop Of Horrors at Regent’s Park Theatre, for which he was Olivier nominated.
Having begun her career in the beloved soap Emmerdale as Debbie Dingle in 2002 at the age of 14, Charley was nominated at the 2014 British Soap Awards for Best Female Dramatic Performance. Since leaving the soap in 2021, after 19 years, she has appeared in Better for the BBC and will be seen in The Long Shadow which will air in September on ITV. Trading the drama of the Dingle family and step ping into the scandal of the Ingrams, Charley will take on the role of wife and accomplice, Diana Ingram.
Lewis starred in the hugely popular black comedy-drama I May Destroy You which was nominated for nine Emmys in 2021, and has recently appeared alongside Keeley Hawes in the Sky science fiction series The Midwich Cuckoos. He is best known for his role as DC Jake Collier in the ITV drama Unforgotten, for which he appeared in four series of the show.
Having appeared in the West End multiple times in acclaimed shows like My Night With Reg and Our Boys, Quiz will be Lewis’ first UK tour and will see him in the hot seat, called for duty as ‘The Coughing Major’ Charles Ingram.
A beloved TV and stage star, Mark Benton is no stranger to touring life, having recently appeared on stages up and down the country in Ramps on the Moon’s Village Idiots, and other critically acclaimed touring productions including Glengarry Glen Ross and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He has also been a regular on our TV screens since the early 90s, and best known for roles including Eddie in Early Doors, Howard in Northern Lights, Martin Pond in Barbara and Daniel ‘Chalky’ Chalk in Waterloo Road.
Most recently he can be seen as one of the titular characters in the BBC One’s Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators. He will be swapping his police badge and taking up the gavel as, Judge Rivlin along with other roles, in the upcoming tour of Quiz.
A couple of years ago Donald Fear won himself the one million pound prize, and there wasn’t a single cough to be heard. Here’s the 15 questions he answered. So, while we’re waiting for Quiz to arrive in Cardiff, see how you do with his questions before scrolling to the bottom of the page to see the answers.
1) In the UK, the abbreviation NHS stands for National ‘what’ Service?
2) Which Disney character famously leaves a glass slipper behind at a royal ballet?
A. Pocahontas B. Sleeping Beauty C. Cinderella D. Elsa
3) What name is given to the revolving belt machinery in an airport that delivers checked luggage from the plane to baggage reclaim?
A. Hangar B. Terminal C. Concourse D. Carousel
4) Which of these brands was chiefly associated with the manufacture of household locks?
A. Phillips B. Flymo C. Chubb D. Ronseal
5) The hammer and sickle is one of the most recognisable symbols of which political ideology?
A. Republicanism B. Communism C. Conservatism D. Liberalism
6) What toys have been marketed with the phrase ‘Robots in Disguise’?
A. Bratz dolls B. Sylvanian Families C. Hatchimals D. Transformers
7) What does the word ‘loquacious’ mean?
A. Angry B. Chatty C. Beautiful D. Shy
8) Obstetrics is a branch of medicine particularly concerned with what?
A. Childbirth B. Broken bones C. Heart conditions D. Old age
9) In Doctor Who, what was the signature look of the fourth doctor, as portrayed by Tom Baker?
A. Bow-tie, braces and tweed jacket B. Wide-brimmed hat and extra-long scarf C. Pinstripe suit and trainers D. Cape, velvet jacket and frilly shirt
10) Which of these religious observances lasts for the shortest period of time during the calendar year?
A. Ramadan B. Diwali C. Lent D. Hanukah
11) At the closest point, which island group is only 50 miles south-east of the coast of Florida?
A. Bahamas B. US Virgin Islands C. Turks and Calcos Islands D. Bermuda
12) Construction of which of these famous landmarks was completed first?
A. Empire State Building B. Royal Albert Hall C. Eiffel Tower D. ‘Big Ben’ clock tower
13) Which of these cetaceans is classified as a ‘toothed whale’?
A. Gray whale B. Minke whale C. Sperm whale D. Humpback whale
14) Who is the only British politician to have held all four ‘Great Offices of State’ at some point during their career?
A. David Lloyd George B. Harold Wilson C. James Callaghan D. John Major
15) In 1718, which pirate died in battle off the coast of what is now North Carolina?
A) Calico Jack B) Blackbeard C) Bartholomew Roberts and D) Captain Kidd
Quiz is directed by Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, Daniel Evans and Seán Linnen with design by Robert Jones, and produced by Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and Wessex Grove, by arrangement with William Village. Lighting by Ryan Day, composition and sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, with video by Tim Reid and casting by Ginny Schiller CDG.
QUIZ gets to the New Theatre in Cardiff from Wednesday through to Saturday 21st October. Performances are at 7:30pm each evening with a 2:30pm matinee on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets go on sale on Monday. For more details, and to get yours, go HERE.
Quiz is a fictional imagination based on real events which took place in 2001 following an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? It is not in any way connected with the makers of the programme or any of the individuals portrayed. The television programme Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is produced by 2waytraffic.
1) B 2) C 3) D 4) C 5) B 6) D 7) B 8) A 9) B 10) B 11) A 12) D 13) C 14) C 15) B