Told by an Idiot presents Napoleon Disrobed at the Arcola Theatre London

Told by an Idiot explores the human condition through theatre that is bigger than life. They acknowledge the artifice of performance & make no attempt to put reality on stage, instead they inhabit the space between laughter & pain which exists in the real world. Their work is rooted in the live event & thrives on a sense of spontaneity & risk, celebrating the unpredictability of performance. Through playful collaborative writing, anarchic physicality & a comedic sensibility they create genuinely spontaneous experiences for audiences.

Through their work on stage & through their Taught by an Idiot participation work they foster a sense of openness, curiosity & the desire to play.  They consistently experiment with what art can be & who can be involved, & in doing so their work blurs the lines between artist, participant & audience. Their commitment to accessibility informs the entwined relationship between their productions & their participation work. They take creative risks, they tell universal stories & they include everyone.  

Their latest production will open in Plymouth on 25 January and at the Arcola Theatre in London from 14 February. Napoleon Disrobed is a comic alternative history based on the novel The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys. What if Napoleon didn’t die in exile? What if he swapped identities with a lowly sailor and made it back to Paris?What then?

One of the UK’s most unique theatre companies creates this poignantly moving and wryly humorous re-imagining of the final years of Napoleon Bonaparte. Using their trademark comic physicality Told by an Idiot explore the absurdity of trying to retrieve time and glory. An irreverent and hugely playful show about what it is to lose immense power but gain personal freedom; to transition from one identity to another, and to lose public face.

Following their collaboration on the smash-hit My Perfect Mind there’s nothing quite like it... Paul Hunter will take the role of Napoleon under the direction of Award-winning actor and director Kathryn Hunter.