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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Saddam sought for West End
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein is thought to use doubles
Lookalikes of Saddam Hussein are being sought for a West End satire.

Actors bearing a passing resemblance to the dictator are invited to an open rehearsal in London for an as-yet-untitled play.

The advert in The Stage newspaper states that flak jackets and berets will be provided for auditionees and fake moustaches will be available for the less hirsute.

Entertainment impresarios Michael Grade and Raymond Gubbay are behind the play under their new production company Bushwacker Productions.

Playwright Alistair Beaton has been drafted in to pen the script, although the company said there is no final draft.

The Stage ad
The ad appears in a trade weekly
Mr Beaton, a former joke writer for Chancellor Gordon Brown, also wrote Feelgood - a satire on the Labour party and the culture of spin.

A spokesman for the production told The Stage: "It is something that Michael Grade and Raymond Gubbay are quite interested in, in the sense they didn't feel there was a voice against the war and so they approached this project."

The play is due to open in June - although no venue has yet been confirmed.

Auditions are being held at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith on 1 May.

Doubles

It has long been thought that Saddam Hussein had a number of doubles he used to pass off as himself.

The validity of one of his last television appearances where he appeared to be on a walkabout on the streets of Baghdad was called into question.

Michael Sheard
Actor Michael Sheard has played Hitler on a number of occasions
Although rarely has there been a call for people to play Saddam Hussein in film or TV, US actor Jerry Haleva has portrayed him on several occasions including the Hotshots! spoof movies and The Big Lebowski.

Other dictators have also been portrayed for the big and small screen.

Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle has been cast as Adolf Hitler in the forthcoming mini-series Hitler: The Rise of Evil.

And Grange Hill actor Michael Sheard, who played the tyrannical Mr Bronson, has played Hitler on more than four occasions on TV.




SEE ALSO:
DVD release for Saddam satire
27 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Bush satire is London hit
06 Feb 03  |  Entertainment


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