A co-production with the National Theatre Scotland, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, in association with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.

 Written by Told by an Idiot, music by Iain Johnstone, lyrics by Simon Armitage


Collaborating with award-winning poet Simon Armitage, Told by an Idiot, National Theatre Scotland and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh presented a wildly comic and provocative piece of music theatre.

Edinburgh; a cold town on the edge of civilisation, in very much the Year of Our Lord, 1696. The church has spies everywhere. Here, you keep your counsel and choose your words with care ... unless you are Thomas Aikenhead –a loud-mouthed, smart-arsed and likable student at the university. A man in the wrong place at absolutely the wrong time ... trouble is brewing for Thomas.

‘It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong’ (Voltaire, 1752)

A rich vein of black humour is exploded in this account of the last person in Britain to be executed for blasphemy. Using Told by an Idiot’s internationally celebrated theatrical invention, we glimpsed into Edinburgh’s dark past to reveal this true story with universal resonance. A riotous and unsettling drama which swang between 1696 and the present day, I Am Thomas was performed with an original live score.

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

Inspired by fact, fantasy and an original short story by James Robertson.



★★★★★ 'Lovely storytelling told by an incredible cast' - Purple Revolver

★★★★ 'The ultimate example of gallows humour' - The Guardian

★★★★ 'Powerful and emotional' - The Stage

★★★★ 'Gorgeous vocal harmonies with canny lyrics from Simon Armitage' - Liverpool Echo

★★★★ 'A vibrant, consistently engrossing spectacle' - Merseysider Magazine



Created by Told by an Idiot

Performers: John CobbCharlie FolorunshoAmanda HadingueIain JohnstoneMyra McFadyenHannah McPakeDominic MarshJohn Pfumojena

Directed by Paul Hunter

Lyrics by Simon Armitage

Composed by Iain Johnstone

Designed by Laura Hopkins

Lighting Design by Paul Anderson

Sound Design by Adrienne Quartly

Assistant Director Judith Williams


Tour Dates from 2016

19 - 27 February       Liverpool Playhouse

1 - 5 March                   The Lowry, Salford Quays

8 - 12 March                 Salisbury Playhouse

23 March - 9 April     Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh 

12 - 16 April                  Eden Court, Inverness

20 - 30 April                  Wilton's Music Hall, London