Told by an Idiot was founded in 1993 by Hayley Carmichael, Paul Hunter and John Wright. We explore the human condition through theatre that is ‘bigger than life’. We acknowledge the artifice of performance and make no attempt to put reality on stage, but we inhabit the space between laughter and pain which exists in the real world. 

Our work is rooted in the live event and thrives on a sense of spontaneity and risk, celebrating the unpredictability of performance. Through playful collaborative writing, anarchic physicality and a comedic sensibility we create genuinely spontaneous experiences for audiences. 

We consistently experiment with what art can be and who can be involved and, in doing so, our work blurs the lines between artist, participant and audience. Our commitment to accessibility informs the entwined relationship between our productions and our participation work. Through our work on stage, and through our Taught by an Idiot Programme, we foster a sense of openness, curiosity and the desire to play. 

We take creative risks, we tell universal stories and we include everyone.    

View our past productions here.


‘No one else is making theatre as creatively and ambitiously as Told by an Idiot. They are a unique phenomenon – intelligent, ingenious and genuinely popular.’ Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate

'A company with a gift for inventive physicalityEvening Standard

'Wonderfully nutty and inventive' Times

'Artfully controlled chaos' Stage

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

'Their work is never less than sublime' Independent


Here’s the A-Z lowdown on Told by an Idiot from a few insiders...

‘My way of preparation is to not be prepared, and that takes a lot of preparation’   
Lee Konitz