The Ghost Train

14th May - 20th June 2015

The Passion of the Idiot - Our new season of workshops

9th Feb - 24th March in London and Manchester

In the past few days we have:

A short killing
Idiot Research
PH&EP rehearse barcelona

El Pais review of My Perfect Mind, Barcelona

01 dec, 2014

Petherbridge is nearing 80 but here he is, on-site and touring, offering with his friend and colleague this watermark which is one of the jewels of the season. My Perfect Mind exudes humour, at times surreal and dizzying, but also emotion, held back only to explode with greater force in his dialogue with Cordelia, the penultimate moment of clarity for Lear. In this moment the huge actor resurfaces, in the way he sits, in the extension of his hands on his thighs, and he begins to talk with his daughter; here is concentrated all his majesty and magnetism.

The power of Hunter also shines, able to go move in a nanosecond from farce to the lightest of brushstrokes, as when he shows us the desolation in the eyes of Petherbridge's mother, also victim of a stroke which left her speechless and helpless whilst pregnant with her son.

Petherbridge wrote the text of My Perfect Mind with Paul Hunter and Kathryn Hunter (no relation), who also directs. Kathryn Hunter is the extraordinary actress who drew applause some weeks before in The Valley of Astonishment at the Canal Theatre. Both pieces peek into the depths of the mind, both extract humour and the poetry of pain, both are lessons in courage. I said earlier that Nabokov would have like the premise (and the games) of My Perfect Mind; it is no less fair to finish by saying that Peter Brook would have celebrated this staging.

Barc. audience
A packed house in Barcelona
scarborough review
My Perfect Mind

Support our Fun Palace

19 sep, 2014

We're creating a Fun Palace with Deafinitely Theatre and RADA and we'd love your support. Check it out HERE! 

Told by an Idiot and RADA

07 aug, 2014

What's this? Told by an Idiot and RADA have gone in to radio together! Have a listen to us revisiting our 2003 production I'm A Fool To Want You with RADA through the medium of radio!


10 apr, 2014

In honour of Never Try This At Home, pie madness has begun to rain down all over the streets of London. Prepare to be #pied and watch this space!

The Idiots need you!

26 mar, 2014

We're hunting for a young emerging band to play with us during our run of Never Try This At Home at Soho theatre. You just need to be in some form of education, be able to get to Soho theatre in the evenings and entertain a crowd.

Whant more information? Then email or call 02074074123.

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Actor Dudley Rees chats about the last week of rehearsals for Never Try This At Home

25 feb, 2014

Great news everybody. After 4 weeks of labour, the Never Try This At Home ensemble has birthed a new play. Father Carl Grose and Paediatrician Paul Hunter have been beautifully supportive. What’s the gender? I don’t know, this analogy has gone too far already.

We now upheave from the safety of rehearsal room 2 and make our way into the unknown, the actual theatre. Tech week, costume and live baked beans.

What makes a good custard pie? Not too solid as to become a dangerous missile, not too liquid as to require a bowl. For all their comedy, once the pies have been thrown they become quite beautiful. The next morning, they’ve formed a sort of soapy snowflake. A ghost of comedy past.

TBAI logo post

Membership launch offer

19 feb, 2014

To celebrate our new membership scheme we're offering members who sign up by the end of February FREE tickets to see our new show! You can't ask for more than that. Head HERE for more info. 

Polly Tisdall, our AD chats about final week of rehearsals for Never Try This At Home

24 feb, 2014

So that's it. The final week of rehearsals is over and tomorrow the tech begins. The band will join us on Wednesday night and we open on Thursday! It's going to be quite a week... As well as creating new material, we've been cutting stuff too. It really is 'kill your darlings' time and even some great moments that we have all loved have had to go because they're no longer pulling their weight. Interestingly, some material that appeared strong in week one just doesn't compare to the material we're creating now in week four and we're all being pretty ruthless, none more so than Paul. If we've said it or shown before, it goes. It's a ninety minute show and only the best stuff stays - and it doesn't get repeated... And I suppose that's how it is with good theatre. It's great, it's alive and then it's gone. It doesn't get recorded, or, if it does, it's never the same as being in the room with the performers and with the audience in that moment. A big burst of energy and then, that's it. No repeats, particularly when the action changes every night. We're only at Birmingham Rep for two and a half weeks and then, via Sheffield, Edinburgh and Soho, it's all over by the end of April. So you know what I'm saying: Come and have a laugh while you can.

AD Polly Tisdall talks Never Try This At Home rehearsals, week 3!

18 feb, 2014

Week Three has gone like that. Run throughs, notes, scene edits, a new script, baked beans and bang we're approaching our final week of rehearsals. The beans were quite a moment. Suddenly the slapstick horror has entered new territory. Watching Petra Massey strip down to her underwear, cover herself in Heinz's finest and crouch, fists out and teeth bared on a table, I'm suddenly getting echoes of The Bacchae. It's funny, but it's simultaneously haunting; a glimpse of unhinged, unharnessed, fundamental female rage. Who would have thought that this pie-infested production would owe so much to Greek tragedy?

RADA logo activity

RADA announcement

15 feb, 2014

Told by an Idiot and RADA announce new ASSOCIATION

Told by an Idiot has embarked on an innovative new creative association with the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). With Told by an Idiot now a Creative Associate of RADA and based at RADA’s Chenies Street studios, the two organisations will have a mutually beneficial relationship; with opportunities including students being involved in R&D weeks of new Told by an Idiot projects and gaining experience on productions, as well as further learning and sharing prospects. The relationship is part of Taught by an Idiot, Told by an Idiot’s participation initiative.


New website

15 feb, 2014

We've launched our new website - hoorah! Take a journey through the Idiot's world...

P&H activity post

Hayley and Paul chat about...

17 feb, 2014

Hayley Carmichael and Paul Hunter: We set up Told by an Idiot to explore the human condition by revelling in a style of theatre that is bigger than life. 21 years on, that ambition remains at the heart of our practice. We continue to create diverse shows through a devising process that we remain passionate about, to experiment with form, and to grow from our relationships with a wealth of collaborators and participants. We are thrilled that over the past 21 years, our co-producers and audiences have come to trust our company and its constantly surprising creations.

NTTAH activity post

The Idiot's are busy...

15 feb, 2014

2014 sees Told by an Idiot turn 21 with a world premiere, the revival of My Perfect Mind, new partnerships and pie-flinging. The company was founded in 1993 and has since established an international reputation for its comic and startlingly original productions. Twenty-one years and twenty six shows on, we are premiering Never Try This At Home and reviving My Perfect Mind. Off-stage, we’re celebrating our new association with leading drama school RADA, and have just launched our new website and membership scheme! For pie-flinging, see our special 21st Birthday film on this page.

Photo Odeta Riskute
Never Try This At Home rehearsal shots