About

Told by an Idiot is an Arts Council England funded theatre company and this year we are celebrating our 21st birthday.

Since our first production in 1993 we have built a critically acclaimed reputation for producing work that is moving, comic and utterly theatrical. In all our work we set out to explore the human condition by celebrating and revelling in a style of theatre that is bigger than life.

We seek to acknowledge the artifice of theatre and makes no attempt to put reality on stage. We remain, however, fascinated by the fine line between comedy and tragedy that exists in the real world.

Through collaborative writing, anarchic physicality and a playful but rigorous approach to text, we are committed to creating genuinely spontaneous experiences for our audience. Using a wealth of imagery and theatrical language we aim to tell universal stories that are accessible to all.

'Told by an Idiot are the most exciting, enthralling and energising presence in British Theatre' Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate

Company Quotes

'A company with a gift for inventive physicality'
Evening Standard

'Wonderfully nutty and inventive' Times

'Artfully controlled chaos' Stage

'Theatre about as inventive, imaginative and fantastical as it gets' Time Out

'A crazily imaginative bunch' Independent on Sunday 

'A group famous for its ingenuity' Financial Times

'Their work is never less than sublime' Independent

Our History

Told by an Idiot was founded in 1993 by Hayley Carmichael, Paul Hunter and John Wright.

The company’s first production was On the Verge of Exploding, which premiered at the 1993 Edinburgh Festival, where it was nominated for the Independent Theatre Award, followed by a run at the London International Mime Festival. Since then, the company has produced a wide range of work, both on the small and middle scale with a variety of partners including the Royal Court, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the RSC, National Theatre Wales, Unity Theatre, Barbican Centre London, Royal Exchange Manchester and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

We have performed throughout the world, working with celebrated artists including Michel Faber (The Fahrenheit Twins), Carol Ann Duffy (Casanova), Zoe Rahmen (I'm a Fool to Want You), Philip Pullman (The Firework-maker's Daughter) and Richard Wilson (Playing the Victim) who subsequently became our patron.

Recent productions include: Get Happy (Barbican Centre); Too Clever By Half (Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester); My Perfect Mind (Young Vic, Drum Theatre Plymouth); You Can't Take It With You (Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester); And The Horse You Rode In On (Drum Theatre Plymouth/Barbican/Brighton Festival); The Comedy Of Errors (RSC); The Dark Philosophers (National Theatre Wales); Six Seeds (National Theatre) Casanova (Lyric Hammersmith/West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Board of Trustees

Andrew Comben - Chair: Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Arts Festival. Previous positions include Artist Manager for Young Concert Artists Trust and for Music International, Director of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Head of Artistic Planning at Wigmore Hall.

Justin Audibert: A freelance theatre director who has worked with Told by an Idiot on several projects. He has been Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio and was the recipient of the 2012 Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors.

Hazel Coomber: A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, working full time in large financial companies and, subsequently, freelance with other organisations.

Tori Dance: A Senior Consultant at Kallaway, an experienced communications professional, specialising in arts and culture campaigns. Previously a BBC journalist she has since worked on campaigns for the National Centre for Circus Arts, Royal Academy of Dance and Latitude festival.

Louise Jeffreys: Director of Programming at the Barbican Centre in London. Previous roles include Head of Theatre and Arts Projects (Barbican), Head of Production at Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and Technical Director at the English National Operais.

Jacqui O'Hanlon: Director of Education for the RSC, responsible for education's strategic direction and management. Prior to this Jacqui was a freelance practitioner working in a variety of theatres and arts organisations and schools across the country.

Chris Martin: A chartered accountant. Previously Chief Administrative Officer for American investment bank, CSFB and now an organic farmer.

Patron: Richard Wilson O.B.E.

Our Team

Paul Hunter

Artistic Director

Paul Hunter is co-founder and artistic director of Told by an Idiot. Paul has worked on all told by an Idiot shows to date as director/devisor/performer.

Other acting credits include: Much Ado About Nothing, The Globe Mysteries, Troilus And Cressida, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare's Globe), Rapunzel and The Red Shoes (Kneehigh), Under The Black Flag (Shakespeare's Globe), The Water Engine (Young Vic/Theatre 503), The Play What I Wrote (West End), Olivier Twist and Pinocchio (Lyric Hammersmith), Iinto Our Dreams (Almeida), the title role in Richard III (English Shakespeare Company), Animal Farm and Sir Toby Belch in Twelth Night (Northern Stage), Les Enfants Du Paradis (RSC), and the title role in The Servant With Two Masters (Sheffield Crucible).

Directing credits include: Every Last Trick (Royal and Derngate), The Mouse And His Child (RSC), Low Pay, Don't Pay (Salisbury Playhouse), Senora Carrar's Rifles (Young Vic), Not With That Hand (BAC), Ordago (for Punto Finco in Bilbao). As Associate Director at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, Paul Hunter directed: The Venetian Twins, The Beauty Queen Of Leenane (Best Production, Manchester Evening News Award), Accidental Death Of An Anarchist  and Cleo, Camping Emmanuel And Dick.

Paul Hunter
Artistic Director

Hayley Carmichael

Co-Founder

Hayley Carmichael trained at Middlesex Polytechnic and is co-founder and co-artistic director of Told by an Idiot. Hayley has worked on all told by an Idiot shows. Other theatre credits include;

Acting (other credits): Forests (Brimigham Rep), Hamlet (Young Vic), Sweet Nothings(Young Vic and national tour), Fragments (Theatre des Bouffes du Nord/international tour), Bliss (Royal Court), Cymbeline (Kneehigh/RSC), Theatre Of Blood (RNT), The New Tenant (Young Vic), Loser (Newbury & Drill Hall). The Birds (RNT), Mother Courage (Ambassadors, UK Tour & Spoleto Festival, South Carolina), The Dispute (Lyric Hammersmith/RSC), King Lear (Young Vic), The Servant Of Two Masters (Sheffield Crucible), The Street Of Crocodiles (Theatre de Complicite/RNT), Gormenghast (David Glass Ensemble), David Copperfield and Metamorphosis (Dundee Rep).

Television credits include: CGI Sketch Show/Wrong Door, Mitchell + Kenyon, Viva Blackpool, Little Robots (voice for animation), Tunnel Of Love, Life's A Bitch And So Am I, National Achievement Day (Channel 4) and The Bill (Thames TV).

Film credits include: One Day, Anazapta (Enterprise Films), Emperor's New Clothes (Bonaparte Films), The Many Cinderellas (Projector Productions) and Simon Magus (Silesia Films).

Hayley Carmichael
Co-Founder

Jenni Grainger

Executive Producer

Jenni Grainger joined Told by an Idiot as Executive Producer in November 2012.

Prior to this she was General Manager at Headlong Theatre for 6 ½ years working on over 20 productions including The Effect and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre, UK tours), ENRON (Chichester Festival Theatre, Royal Court, West End, UK tour, Broadway), Decade (site-specific production reflecting on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11), and Six Characters in Search of an Author (Chichester Festival Theatre, West End, UK tour, Australia).

Before joining Headlong Jenni was Administrator at Actors Touring Company (ATC) for 2 ½ years following her completion of an MA in Arts Management at Goldsmiths, University of London. Jenni is a Chair of site-specific company InSite Performance and a Trustee of Hull Truck Theatre.


Jenni Grainger
Executive Producer

Rachel Meyrick

Assistant Producer

Rachel Meyrick joined Told by an Idiot in early 2011 on a work placement to support the Idiot's national tour of And The Horse You Rode In On. In May 2011 she took the temporary position of Assistant Producer for a year's maternity cover and was recruited for the permanent position in July 2012. Rachel has worked on all the company's subsequent productions including The Dark Philosophers, And The Horse You Rode In On, You Can't Take It With You, A Midsummer Night's Dream, My Perfect Mind, Too Clever By Half, Get Happy and Never Try This At Home as well as leading the work of Taught by an Idiot, the company's education strand.

Rachel read Theatre and English before training and working as an actor. She works part-time as Assistant Producer for the company and is also the co-founder of children's storytelling company Bish Bash Box Storytellers. She recently produced outside the company Faster-Higher-Stronger-Straighter at the Dominion Theatre Studio.

Rachel Meyrick
Assistant Producer

David Harris

Finance

David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Company Secretaries and has an MBA. He has held senior management posts in commercial creative companies from book publishing to graphic design. He also spent seven years as Chief Executive of Bindman & Partners, a well-known law firm specialising in human rights issues. From an interest in education, David became a school governor and was Chair of the Governing Body of the primary school linked to Southwark Cathedral for twelve years, where his prime responsibility was strategic management. In December 2012, he was appointed a Trustee of the Family Planning Association. Apart from his work with Told by an Idiot, David acts as a business consultant to several creative organisations and charities.

David Harris
Finance

Nancy Poole

Press

Nancy Poole is a freelance publicist, specialising in theatre and performing arts. She began her career in theatre as a Backstage Tour Guide at the National Theatre before joining the organisation’s press office. She was then Head of Press at Soho Theatre for five years before embarking on a freelance career in 2008. As well as Told by an Idiot, she works regularly with companies including Clean Break, Hoipolloi, Tiata Fahodzi, Tamasha, Soho Theatre, Almeida Festival, Metta Theatre and curious directive among others.

Nancy Poole
Press

Amanda Castro

Participation Manager

Amanda Castro joined Told by and Idiot as Participation Manager in June 2014. She also currently works at the Bush Theatre as their Community Producer, after working there as an Assistant and Associate Producer. Prior to this she worked for Clean Break Theatre Company and has also worked as a facilitator for various young people’s and community theatre projects. She has directed and produced her own theatrical projects, including 'XY' for Edinburgh Fringe and Latitude Festival, ‘Stuff' for the Bush Bazaar and short plays at Theatre 503, Southwark Playhouse, Tristan Bates Theatre, The Old Red Lion and Riverside Studios.

Amanda Castro
Participation Manager

Our Associates

John Wright

Associate/Co-Founder

John Wright is co-founder of Told by an Idiot. He is an internationally renowned teacher and director, teaching workshops all over the world and his book " Why is that so funny?" is a must buy for actors, directors, students and teachers. John was also a founding member of Trestle. His version of Dr. Faustus with IIIParty won the Peter Brook Award and Coal Theatre's Fragility of X won a spirit of the fringe award at the Edinburgh festival. He is currently working on a new book provisionally titled "Acting Without The Bullshit."

John Wright
Associate/Co-Founder

Annie Fitzmaurice

Associate Idiot

Annie has worked with Told By An Idiot as a deviser and perfomer in And The Horse You Rode In On and Shoot Me In The Heart. She has led a number of workshops for the company and with Jazier Marzan directed their Royal Exchange Intergenerational Project On Second Thoughts I’ll Dance With The Cows Until You Come Home. Annie is co-founder of Coal and has conceived, created and performed all of their work - Johnny Come Lately, The Fragility of X and PUB in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre and Not With That Hand with Unity Theatre Liverpool and BAC. Other work includes; Accidental Death of An Anarchist, (Bolton Octagon dir. Paul Hunter), Rock n Roll (Library Theatre), Meeting Myself Coming back (Soho Theatre dir. John Wright), George’s Marvellous Medicine (Birmingham Stage), Tom’s Midnight Garden (Library Theatre Manchester), Animal Farm (Northern Stage, Young Vic, International Tour), Twelfth Night (Northern Stage) and Throwing Stones (Royal Court), Fraulein Pollinger (Theatre Box). Development projects; The Geezer (RSC), River, Nice Girls Do, Fear (NW Playwrights/Oldham Coliseum), Muhammed Molloy (Unity). Television includes 2 series of the Welsh comedy drama Cerddwn Ymlaen, Emmerdale (2 years), The Street, Waterloo Road, Powers, The Royal, The Good Thief, Cold Feet, Coronation Street, Holby City. Film includes Extremely Dangerous and Dead Man’s Cards. Radio includes devised sitcom The Newbury Arms.

Annie Fitzmaurice
Associate Idiot

Stephen Harper

Associate Idiot

Stephen has worked with Told by an Idiot many times on productions including: Never Try This A Home, Get Happy, I'm a Fool to want you, Shoot me in the Heart, I Weep at My Piano and Don't Laugh It's my Life and also runs many of our education projects.

Stephen's recent work includes The Mouse and his Child and Merry Wives of Windsor at The RSC, Mass Observation at the Almeida with Inspector Sands, War Horse and Theatre of Blood with the National Theatre, Laurel and Hardy at the New Vic Theatre, Only Fools No Horses with Contemporary Clowning Projects, Home from Home at Polka, 1966 World Cup Final and Ben Hur for BAC, Commonnonsense at Reykjavik City Theatre and The Bicycle Bridge with Rejects Revenge. He has also worked with Trestle, Hoipolloi, Brouhaha, English Shakespeare Co., Clod Ensemble, The Gate Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Sheffield Crucible. He can also be seen in the pop video Absurd playing Gazelle Boy and The Man Who Falls On Bread. Stephen specialises in Clown, Mask, Commedia Dell Arte, Improvisation and Devising.

Stephen Harper
Associate Idiot

Iain Johnstone

Associate Idiot

Iain has collaborated with Told by an Idiot on numerous productions including: The Dark Philosophers, The Comedy of Errors, I Weep at My Piano, Shoot Me in the Heart, A Little Fantasy and The Firework-Maker's Daughter.
Iain is a musician, actor and director who has worked with most theatre companies in Scotland. Recent credits include: Treasure Island, One Giant Leap, The Emperor's Kilt (Winner of the Critics Award 2008 for Theatre in Scotland Best Show for Children and Young Adults) and the award-winning Arthur, The Story of a King. Other credits include: The Wolves in the Walls (National Theatre of Scotland) and with Wee Stories with whom he is also Co-Artistic Director. Outside Scotland has has spent many years with Northen Stage, Newcastle, Theatre Sans Frontieres, Sheffield Crucible, Lyric Hammersmith and the Stadsteatern, Stockholm.

Iain Johnstone
Associate Idiot

Michael Vale

Associate Idiot

Michael has worked on numorous productions and participation projects and workshops with Told by an Idiot. Recent Told by an Idiot designs include Never Try This At Home and My Perfect Mind. He has designed the sets and costumes for over 180 theatre and opera productions both in the UK and abroad including those he has directed. Companies he has worked with include: The Royal Shakespeare Company; The National Theatre; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; English National Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Opera North; English Touring Opera; De Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp; Los Angeles Opera; New Zealand International Art’s Festival; Galaxy Theatre, Tokyo; Warsaw Globe Theatre Company; Munich Biennalle; Lyric Hammersmith; Almeida Theatre; Soho Theatre; Manchester Royal Exchange; West Yorkshire Playhouse; Sheffield Crucible; Northampton Theatre Royal; Liverpool Playhouse; Nottingham Playhouse; Bristol Old Vic; Plymouth Theatre Royal; Edinburgh Royal Lyceum; Bolton Octagon; Oldham Coliseum; Manchester Library Theatre; Salisbury Playhouse; Colchester Mercury Theatre; English Touring Theatre; The Royal Festival Hall; The Queen Elizabeth Hall; The Sage, Gateshead; Battersea Arts Centre; along with Told By An Idiot, Spymonkey and Kneehigh Theatre companies. His work has been nominated for two Olivier Awards; an Irish Times Theatre Award; a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award; a Charrington Fringe First Award and an Off West End Theatre Award.

Michael Vale
Associate Idiot

Joanna Holden

Workshop Leader

Joanna Holden first worked with Told by an Idiot on the streets of Portobello market many moons ago and most recently in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Svenska Theatre. Other theatre credits include Cirque Du Soleil, The Soho Theatre, Northern Stage Ensemble, RNT, The Royal Court, The Bush theatre, Bolton Octagon, Perth Rep, The Gate and various theatre companies including Kneehigh. Joanna has studied clown with John Wright, Cal McCrystal, Spymonkey, Angela De Castro, Dr Brown , Mick Barnfather, Gaulier. She has devised with Told By an Idiot, Ridiculusmus, Nutshell. She also teaches for The Globe and Trestle Theatre Company.

Joanna Holden
Workshop Leader

Sophie Russell

Workshop Leader

Sophie has worked as a performer with Told By An Idiot on You Can't Take It With You (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Comedy of Errors (RSC), and Get Happy (Barbican). Other recent theatre work includes Every Last Trick (Spymonkey/ Northampton Theatre Royal), Big Idea: Collaboration (Royal Court), Stuart; A Life Backwards (Hightide/ Sheffield Crucible/ Watford Palace), King Lear, As You Like It, The Drunks, Oxygen, Antony and Cleopatra, American Trade (RSC), Stories From An Invisible Town (Hoipolloi/ Barbican), Spyski! (Peepolykus/ Lyric Hammersmith) and The Good Soul of Szechuan (Young Vic). Film and Television include The Invisible Woman (BBC Films), Casualty and Wire In The Blood. Radio work includes Marley Was Dead and A Disappearing Town (BBC Radio 4) While at the RSC she completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Shakespeare with Warwick University. She also teaches workshops for the RSC.

Sophie Russell
Workshop Leader

About

Told by an Idiot is an Arts Council England funded theatre company and this year we are celebrating our 21st birthday.

Since our first production in 1993 we have built a critically acclaimed reputation for producing work that is moving, comic and utterly theatrical. In all our work we set out to explore the human condition by celebrating and revelling in a style of theatre that is bigger than life.

We seek to acknowledge the artifice of theatre and makes no attempt to put reality on stage. We remain, however, fascinated by the fine line between comedy and tragedy that exists in the real world.

Through collaborative writing, anarchic physicality and a playful but rigorous approach to text, we are committed to creating genuinely spontaneous experiences for our audience. Using a wealth of imagery and theatrical language we aim to tell universal stories that are accessible to all.

'Told by an Idiot are the most exciting, enthralling and energising presence in British Theatre' Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate

Company Quotes

'A company with a gift for inventive physicality'
Evening Standard

'Wonderfully nutty and inventive' Times

'Artfully controlled chaos' Stage

'Theatre about as inventive, imaginative and fantastical as it gets' Time Out

'A crazily imaginative bunch' Independent on Sunday 

'A group famous for its ingenuity' Financial Times

'Their work is never less than sublime' Independent

Our History

Told by an Idiot was founded in 1993 by Hayley Carmichael, Paul Hunter and John Wright.

The company’s first production was On the Verge of Exploding, which premiered at the 1993 Edinburgh Festival, where it was nominated for the Independent Theatre Award, followed by a run at the London International Mime Festival. Since then, the company has produced a wide range of work, both on the small and middle scale with a variety of partners including the Royal Court, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the RSC, National Theatre Wales, Unity Theatre, Barbican Centre London, Royal Exchange Manchester and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

We have performed throughout the world, working with celebrated artists including Michel Faber (The Fahrenheit Twins), Carol Ann Duffy (Casanova), Zoe Rahmen (I'm a Fool to Want You), Philip Pullman (The Firework-maker's Daughter) and Richard Wilson (Playing the Victim) who subsequently became our patron.

Recent productions include: Get Happy (Barbican Centre); Too Clever By Half (Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester); My Perfect Mind (Young Vic, Drum Theatre Plymouth); You Can't Take It With You (Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester); And The Horse You Rode In On (Drum Theatre Plymouth/Barbican/Brighton Festival); The Comedy Of Errors (RSC); The Dark Philosophers (National Theatre Wales); Six Seeds (National Theatre) Casanova (Lyric Hammersmith/West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Board of Trustees

Andrew Comben - Chair: Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Arts Festival. Previous positions include Artist Manager for Young Concert Artists Trust and for Music International, Director of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Head of Artistic Planning at Wigmore Hall.

Justin Audibert: A freelance theatre director who has worked with Told by an Idiot on several projects. He has been Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio and was the recipient of the 2012 Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors.

Hazel Coomber: A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, working full time in large financial companies and, subsequently, freelance with other organisations.

Tori Dance: A Senior Consultant at Kallaway, an experienced communications professional, specialising in arts and culture campaigns. Previously a BBC journalist she has since worked on campaigns for the National Centre for Circus Arts, Royal Academy of Dance and Latitude festival.

Louise Jeffreys: Director of Programming at the Barbican Centre in London. Previous roles include Head of Theatre and Arts Projects (Barbican), Head of Production at Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and Technical Director at the English National Operais.

Jacqui O'Hanlon: Director of Education for the RSC, responsible for education's strategic direction and management. Prior to this Jacqui was a freelance practitioner working in a variety of theatres and arts organisations and schools across the country.

Chris Martin: A chartered accountant. Previously Chief Administrative Officer for American investment bank, CSFB and now an organic farmer.

Patron: Richard Wilson O.B.E.

Our Team

Paul Hunter

Artistic Director

Paul Hunter is co-founder and artistic director of Told by an Idiot. Paul has worked on all told by an Idiot shows to date as director/devisor/performer.

Other acting credits include: Much Ado About Nothing, The Globe Mysteries, Troilus And Cressida, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare's Globe), Rapunzel and The Red Shoes (Kneehigh), Under The Black Flag (Shakespeare's Globe), The Water Engine (Young Vic/Theatre 503), The Play What I Wrote (West End), Olivier Twist and Pinocchio (Lyric Hammersmith), Iinto Our Dreams (Almeida), the title role in Richard III (English Shakespeare Company), Animal Farm and Sir Toby Belch in Twelth Night (Northern Stage), Les Enfants Du Paradis (RSC), and the title role in The Servant With Two Masters (Sheffield Crucible).

Directing credits include: Every Last Trick (Royal and Derngate), The Mouse And His Child (RSC), Low Pay, Don't Pay (Salisbury Playhouse), Senora Carrar's Rifles (Young Vic), Not With That Hand (BAC), Ordago (for Punto Finco in Bilbao). As Associate Director at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, Paul Hunter directed: The Venetian Twins, The Beauty Queen Of Leenane (Best Production, Manchester Evening News Award), Accidental Death Of An Anarchist  and Cleo, Camping Emmanuel And Dick.

Paul Hunter
Artistic Director

Hayley Carmichael

Co-Founder

Hayley Carmichael trained at Middlesex Polytechnic and is co-founder and co-artistic director of Told by an Idiot. Hayley has worked on all told by an Idiot shows. Other theatre credits include;

Acting (other credits): Forests (Brimigham Rep), Hamlet (Young Vic), Sweet Nothings(Young Vic and national tour), Fragments (Theatre des Bouffes du Nord/international tour), Bliss (Royal Court), Cymbeline (Kneehigh/RSC), Theatre Of Blood (RNT), The New Tenant (Young Vic), Loser (Newbury & Drill Hall). The Birds (RNT), Mother Courage (Ambassadors, UK Tour & Spoleto Festival, South Carolina), The Dispute (Lyric Hammersmith/RSC), King Lear (Young Vic), The Servant Of Two Masters (Sheffield Crucible), The Street Of Crocodiles (Theatre de Complicite/RNT), Gormenghast (David Glass Ensemble), David Copperfield and Metamorphosis (Dundee Rep).

Television credits include: CGI Sketch Show/Wrong Door, Mitchell + Kenyon, Viva Blackpool, Little Robots (voice for animation), Tunnel Of Love, Life's A Bitch And So Am I, National Achievement Day (Channel 4) and The Bill (Thames TV).

Film credits include: One Day, Anazapta (Enterprise Films), Emperor's New Clothes (Bonaparte Films), The Many Cinderellas (Projector Productions) and Simon Magus (Silesia Films).

Hayley Carmichael
Co-Founder

Jenni Grainger

Executive Producer

Jenni Grainger joined Told by an Idiot as Executive Producer in November 2012.

Prior to this she was General Manager at Headlong Theatre for 6 ½ years working on over 20 productions including The Effect and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre, UK tours), ENRON (Chichester Festival Theatre, Royal Court, West End, UK tour, Broadway), Decade (site-specific production reflecting on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11), and Six Characters in Search of an Author (Chichester Festival Theatre, West End, UK tour, Australia).

Before joining Headlong Jenni was Administrator at Actors Touring Company (ATC) for 2 ½ years following her completion of an MA in Arts Management at Goldsmiths, University of London. Jenni is a Chair of site-specific company InSite Performance and a Trustee of Hull Truck Theatre.


Jenni Grainger
Executive Producer

Rachel Meyrick

Assistant Producer

Rachel Meyrick joined Told by an Idiot in early 2011 on a work placement to support the Idiot's national tour of And The Horse You Rode In On. In May 2011 she took the temporary position of Assistant Producer for a year's maternity cover and was recruited for the permanent position in July 2012. Rachel has worked on all the company's subsequent productions including The Dark Philosophers, And The Horse You Rode In On, You Can't Take It With You, A Midsummer Night's Dream, My Perfect Mind, Too Clever By Half, Get Happy and Never Try This At Home as well as leading the work of Taught by an Idiot, the company's education strand.

Rachel read Theatre and English before training and working as an actor. She works part-time as Assistant Producer for the company and is also the co-founder of children's storytelling company Bish Bash Box Storytellers. She recently produced outside the company Faster-Higher-Stronger-Straighter at the Dominion Theatre Studio.

Rachel Meyrick
Assistant Producer

David Harris

Finance

David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Company Secretaries and has an MBA. He has held senior management posts in commercial creative companies from book publishing to graphic design. He also spent seven years as Chief Executive of Bindman & Partners, a well-known law firm specialising in human rights issues. From an interest in education, David became a school governor and was Chair of the Governing Body of the primary school linked to Southwark Cathedral for twelve years, where his prime responsibility was strategic management. In December 2012, he was appointed a Trustee of the Family Planning Association. Apart from his work with Told by an Idiot, David acts as a business consultant to several creative organisations and charities.

David Harris
Finance

Nancy Poole

Press

Nancy Poole is a freelance publicist, specialising in theatre and performing arts. She began her career in theatre as a Backstage Tour Guide at the National Theatre before joining the organisation’s press office. She was then Head of Press at Soho Theatre for five years before embarking on a freelance career in 2008. As well as Told by an Idiot, she works regularly with companies including Clean Break, Hoipolloi, Tiata Fahodzi, Tamasha, Soho Theatre, Almeida Festival, Metta Theatre and curious directive among others.

Nancy Poole
Press

Amanda Castro

Participation Manager

Amanda Castro joined Told by and Idiot as Participation Manager in June 2014. She also currently works at the Bush Theatre as their Community Producer, after working there as an Assistant and Associate Producer. Prior to this she worked for Clean Break Theatre Company and has also worked as a facilitator for various young people’s and community theatre projects. She has directed and produced her own theatrical projects, including 'XY' for Edinburgh Fringe and Latitude Festival, ‘Stuff' for the Bush Bazaar and short plays at Theatre 503, Southwark Playhouse, Tristan Bates Theatre, The Old Red Lion and Riverside Studios.

Amanda Castro
Participation Manager

Our Associates

John Wright

Associate/Co-Founder

John Wright is co-founder of Told by an Idiot. He is an internationally renowned teacher and director, teaching workshops all over the world and his book " Why is that so funny?" is a must buy for actors, directors, students and teachers. John was also a founding member of Trestle. His version of Dr. Faustus with IIIParty won the Peter Brook Award and Coal Theatre's Fragility of X won a spirit of the fringe award at the Edinburgh festival. He is currently working on a new book provisionally titled "Acting Without The Bullshit."

John Wright
Associate/Co-Founder

Annie Fitzmaurice

Associate Idiot

Annie has worked with Told By An Idiot as a deviser and perfomer in And The Horse You Rode In On and Shoot Me In The Heart. She has led a number of workshops for the company and with Jazier Marzan directed their Royal Exchange Intergenerational Project On Second Thoughts I’ll Dance With The Cows Until You Come Home. Annie is co-founder of Coal and has conceived, created and performed all of their work - Johnny Come Lately, The Fragility of X and PUB in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre and Not With That Hand with Unity Theatre Liverpool and BAC. Other work includes; Accidental Death of An Anarchist, (Bolton Octagon dir. Paul Hunter), Rock n Roll (Library Theatre), Meeting Myself Coming back (Soho Theatre dir. John Wright), George’s Marvellous Medicine (Birmingham Stage), Tom’s Midnight Garden (Library Theatre Manchester), Animal Farm (Northern Stage, Young Vic, International Tour), Twelfth Night (Northern Stage) and Throwing Stones (Royal Court), Fraulein Pollinger (Theatre Box). Development projects; The Geezer (RSC), River, Nice Girls Do, Fear (NW Playwrights/Oldham Coliseum), Muhammed Molloy (Unity). Television includes 2 series of the Welsh comedy drama Cerddwn Ymlaen, Emmerdale (2 years), The Street, Waterloo Road, Powers, The Royal, The Good Thief, Cold Feet, Coronation Street, Holby City. Film includes Extremely Dangerous and Dead Man’s Cards. Radio includes devised sitcom The Newbury Arms.

Annie Fitzmaurice
Associate Idiot

Stephen Harper

Associate Idiot

Stephen has worked with Told by an Idiot many times on productions including: Never Try This A Home, Get Happy, I'm a Fool to want you, Shoot me in the Heart, I Weep at My Piano and Don't Laugh It's my Life and also runs many of our education projects.

Stephen's recent work includes The Mouse and his Child and Merry Wives of Windsor at The RSC, Mass Observation at the Almeida with Inspector Sands, War Horse and Theatre of Blood with the National Theatre, Laurel and Hardy at the New Vic Theatre, Only Fools No Horses with Contemporary Clowning Projects, Home from Home at Polka, 1966 World Cup Final and Ben Hur for BAC, Commonnonsense at Reykjavik City Theatre and The Bicycle Bridge with Rejects Revenge. He has also worked with Trestle, Hoipolloi, Brouhaha, English Shakespeare Co., Clod Ensemble, The Gate Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Sheffield Crucible. He can also be seen in the pop video Absurd playing Gazelle Boy and The Man Who Falls On Bread. Stephen specialises in Clown, Mask, Commedia Dell Arte, Improvisation and Devising.

Stephen Harper
Associate Idiot

Iain Johnstone

Associate Idiot

Iain has collaborated with Told by an Idiot on numerous productions including: The Dark Philosophers, The Comedy of Errors, I Weep at My Piano, Shoot Me in the Heart, A Little Fantasy and The Firework-Maker's Daughter.
Iain is a musician, actor and director who has worked with most theatre companies in Scotland. Recent credits include: Treasure Island, One Giant Leap, The Emperor's Kilt (Winner of the Critics Award 2008 for Theatre in Scotland Best Show for Children and Young Adults) and the award-winning Arthur, The Story of a King. Other credits include: The Wolves in the Walls (National Theatre of Scotland) and with Wee Stories with whom he is also Co-Artistic Director. Outside Scotland has has spent many years with Northen Stage, Newcastle, Theatre Sans Frontieres, Sheffield Crucible, Lyric Hammersmith and the Stadsteatern, Stockholm.

Iain Johnstone
Associate Idiot

Michael Vale

Associate Idiot

Michael has worked on numorous productions and participation projects and workshops with Told by an Idiot. Recent Told by an Idiot designs include Never Try This At Home and My Perfect Mind. He has designed the sets and costumes for over 180 theatre and opera productions both in the UK and abroad including those he has directed. Companies he has worked with include: The Royal Shakespeare Company; The National Theatre; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; English National Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Opera North; English Touring Opera; De Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp; Los Angeles Opera; New Zealand International Art’s Festival; Galaxy Theatre, Tokyo; Warsaw Globe Theatre Company; Munich Biennalle; Lyric Hammersmith; Almeida Theatre; Soho Theatre; Manchester Royal Exchange; West Yorkshire Playhouse; Sheffield Crucible; Northampton Theatre Royal; Liverpool Playhouse; Nottingham Playhouse; Bristol Old Vic; Plymouth Theatre Royal; Edinburgh Royal Lyceum; Bolton Octagon; Oldham Coliseum; Manchester Library Theatre; Salisbury Playhouse; Colchester Mercury Theatre; English Touring Theatre; The Royal Festival Hall; The Queen Elizabeth Hall; The Sage, Gateshead; Battersea Arts Centre; along with Told By An Idiot, Spymonkey and Kneehigh Theatre companies. His work has been nominated for two Olivier Awards; an Irish Times Theatre Award; a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award; a Charrington Fringe First Award and an Off West End Theatre Award.

Michael Vale
Associate Idiot

Joanna Holden

Workshop Leader

Joanna Holden first worked with Told by an Idiot on the streets of Portobello market many moons ago and most recently in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Svenska Theatre. Other theatre credits include Cirque Du Soleil, The Soho Theatre, Northern Stage Ensemble, RNT, The Royal Court, The Bush theatre, Bolton Octagon, Perth Rep, The Gate and various theatre companies including Kneehigh. Joanna has studied clown with John Wright, Cal McCrystal, Spymonkey, Angela De Castro, Dr Brown , Mick Barnfather, Gaulier. She has devised with Told By an Idiot, Ridiculusmus, Nutshell. She also teaches for The Globe and Trestle Theatre Company.

Joanna Holden
Workshop Leader

Sophie Russell

Workshop Leader

Sophie has worked as a performer with Told By An Idiot on You Can't Take It With You (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Comedy of Errors (RSC), and Get Happy (Barbican). Other recent theatre work includes Every Last Trick (Spymonkey/ Northampton Theatre Royal), Big Idea: Collaboration (Royal Court), Stuart; A Life Backwards (Hightide/ Sheffield Crucible/ Watford Palace), King Lear, As You Like It, The Drunks, Oxygen, Antony and Cleopatra, American Trade (RSC), Stories From An Invisible Town (Hoipolloi/ Barbican), Spyski! (Peepolykus/ Lyric Hammersmith) and The Good Soul of Szechuan (Young Vic). Film and Television include The Invisible Woman (BBC Films), Casualty and Wire In The Blood. Radio work includes Marley Was Dead and A Disappearing Town (BBC Radio 4) While at the RSC she completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Shakespeare with Warwick University. She also teaches workshops for the RSC.

Sophie Russell
Workshop Leader