That’s the teasing premise of the latest production by theatre company Told by an Idiot, making a return to the Unity with And The Horse You Rode In On, a dark comedy of ineptitude examining extreme acts of violence and the lengths people will go for their beliefs. The production is presented as “a sequence of follies, inspired by surprising sources as eclectic as Gunter Grass, Hitchcock, Bugs Bunny and iconic sitcom Are You Being Served?”, and, we’re told, “takes their distinctive style in a new and unsettling direction”. Goodness me.
The run at Unity, from March 22 – 26, is accompanied by a novel post-show event on Wednesday March 23. Dispensing with a traditional discussion format, Told by an Idiot invites the audience to explore the company’s creative process by taking part themselves. Led by members of the company, the audience will be invited to join them in simple practical exercises and games which offer an insight into “the way of the Idiot”.
Formed in 1993, the company has established an international reputation for its innovative comic productions. Recent productions include The Comedy of Errors (RSC), Michel Faber’s The Fahrenheit Twins (Drum Theatre Plymouth, barbicanbite and Unity Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Lyric Hammersmith and Warwick Arts Centre), Casanova (a collaboration with poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and co-produced with West Yorkshire Playhouse and Lyric Hammersmith) and Philip Pullman’s The Firework-maker’s Daughter (Sheffield Crucible).