We live in interesting times with ex Presidents charged with criminal acts, and a former Prime Minister locked out of Parliament.

Fertile source material then for this musical revival of the well-loved 80s satirical puppet show in which Ant, Dec, and Alison Hammond rub shoulders with Trump and Putin.

Packed with humorously repurposed familiar songs (Putin on the Blitz, a possessed Suella Braverman joining the zombies in Thriller) director Sean Foley does a decent job of turning a TV sketch show into a theatrical experience, hosted by old Gandalf himself Sir Ian McKellen.

Ham & High: Repurposed familiar songs include Vladimir Putin singing Putin on the Blitz.Repurposed familiar songs include Vladimir Putin singing Putin on the Blitz. (Image: Mark Senior)

In some ways little has changed, we're still making jibes about Prince Andrew's sex life, a scary Thatcher comes back from the dead, and Old Queen Liz puts in an appearance, bursting through a painting to join a Bohemian Rhapsody spoof. (I'm just a rich boy from a Royal family.)

Alice Power's set - a theatre within a theatre - places Harry and Meghan in The Royal box, and Paddington Bear, Putin and Xi Jinping opposite, commenting on the daft plot that sees plucky little Tom Cruise recruiting the 'Magnificent Seven' to restore the Royal undercrackers in time for the Coronation, before 'world king' Boris Johnson snatches the Crown.

Ham & High: The plot involves Tom Cruise having to save the Coronation with the help of the Magnificent Seven.The plot involves Tom Cruise having to save the Coronation with the help of the Magnificent Seven. (Image: Mark Senior)

Cue a coalition of Idris Elba, Angela Rayner, RuPaul, Greta Thunberg, Tyson Fury and Meghan Markle pitted against James Corden, an orange jump-suited Trump, and Rishi Sunak in blazer, cap and schoolboy shorts.

The script is more madcap and crude than witty, relying a tad too much on the f-bomb for laughs. Foley co-writes with Al Murray and Matt Forde, and some sketches; Carrie Johnson with talking breasts commanding giant penises, are a misfire.

Ham & High: The Royal family in a spoof of Bohemian Rhapsody.The Royal family in a spoof of Bohemian Rhapsody. (Image: Mark Senior)

Megan gets off pretty lightly by comparison, as does Trump (perhaps too much of a caricature to caricature.) But the voices are spot on, and there is much fun to be had with a vituperative Nicola Sturgeon flicking Vs at the English, and Keir Starmer interjecting with adenoidal lawyer-speak.

At its best, the satire hits home. Tory immigration policy is a big target and the Magnificent Seven are put on a flight to Rwanda then ditch into the sea in a small boat. When Rishi and Boris double act to Je Ne Regrette Rien against a montage of exhausted NHS staff and Covid deaths, the laughter curdles into a gut punch.

Ham & High: Carrie and Boris Johnson in Idiots Assemble.Carrie and Boris Johnson in Idiots Assemble. (Image: Mark Senior)

Idiots Assemble, Spitting Image The Musical runs at The Phoenix Theatre until August 26.