Identification: We Go to the Opera to Eat Voice

  • Freya Jarman-Ivens
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Critical Studies in Gender, Sexuality, and Culture book series (CSGSC)


One of my favorite television shows as a ten-year-old was Spitting Image, a satirical puppet show where three-dimensional rubber caricatures of political figures and celebrities would appear in sketches and songs as topical commentaries that were both brilliant and absurd. (Indeed, their absurdities were part of their brilliance, I think.) The puppets were voiced by impressionists of the day, some of whom had independent careers and others for whom Spitting Image was a starting point; several of these impressionists are still best known for their impersonation skills, like Rory Bremner, or Jan Ravens and Jon Culshaw (who went on to Dead Ringers for BBC Radio 4), while others went on to other comedy arenas, like Steve Coogan or Hugh Dennis. It was my love of Spitting Image that spawned one of my first great burning ambitions—to become an impressionist—and I was soon undisputedly the best “Margaret Thatcher” in my class. I found the power of comedy through satire powerful, but in my ten-year-old mind, not quite able to keep up with all the references, I was particularly enticed by the added dimension of the illusion of the voices.


Sexual Object Cover Version Order Simulacrum Musical Context Favorite Television 
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© Freya Jarman-Ivens 2011

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  • Freya Jarman-Ivens

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