Peep Show could have been a stage show co-creator Sam Bain reveals

Saturday 23rd September 2023, 9:16am by Jay Richardson

Peep Show. Image shows from L to R: Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell), Jeremy Usbourne (Robert Webb). Copyright: Objective Productions

Peep Show could have been turned into a stage show, co-creator Sam Bain has revealed.

But he and fellow writer Jesse Armstrong turned down the offer to adapt the long-running Channel 4 sitcom into a play, because they couldn't figure out how to make it he work, he told music magazine NME.

Currently marking its 20th anniversary, the comedy documented the tragic lives of bank manager Mark Corrigan, played by David Mitchell, and his layabout flatmate and occasional musician Jeremy Usborne, played by Robert Webb.

Shot from a point-of-view perspective, the actors performed to camera, with the characters' internal thoughts added as narration. Bain and Armstrong knew that they wouldn't be able to replicate the format in a theatre.

"There was an offer to do a live Peep Show, a stage show, after the last series, which we did carefully consider because it was coming from some proper people," Bain told the NME. "But we just, we just couldn't get our heads around how it would be Peep Show on stage. And I think with that sort of thing, we'd want to be careful.

"You sort of can't [make that POV work on stage] and then it becomes something very different, and then it's like, 'What are we doing?' But yeah, that was our thought process at the time, I think."

A fifth attempt at remaking Peep Show in the US is currently in development, with the FX channel having shot a gender-swapped pilot earlier this year, starring British actor Minnie Driver and Amandla Jahava (Rap Sh!t). The setting has also shifted from being predominantly set in Mark and Jez's flat to a tech business workplace.

The latest pilot was written and produced by Stefani Robinson, a writer and executive producer for What We Do In The Shadows and Atlanta, and was directed by Shadows' Yana Gorskaya.

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