Friday, 5 July 2013


ACTORS from award-winning company, Told by an Idiot will work with teenagers and toddlers in an unusual collaboration to understand more about anarchic playfulness. 

Told by an Idiot are well known for their style of theatre that is larger than life and genuinely spontaneous for the audience. As part of their forthcoming production at the Royal Exchange, TOO CLEVER BY HALF, this week-long project will help them explore what we find exciting and funny and how, when we do find it, we want to do it again and again and again!

It will give a group of children aged under 5 and teenage members of the Royal Exchange’s Young Company a rare opportunity to work together and create a genuinely anarchic and interactive experience for a very young audience.

The project runs from Monday 22 July to Friday 26 July. Told by an Idiot director Paul Hunter will lead the two groups as they share a variety of games and exercises – all rooted in the notion of play - to create a genuinely anarchic and interactive theatrical experience for a very young audience. 

Paul Hunter explained: “It’s about finding meeting points between the two groups. It will culminate at the end of the week in a presentation for a group of toddlers when the teenagers will present a short piece to their younger colleagues.

'We’re interested in exploring this notion of anarchic playfulness and how present it is in the way that very young children play. We want to see how we can ignite that kind of anarchy for a very young audience.  It’s interesting to discover the points where a really young audience go ‘oh – I can’t believe they’re doing that – it’s too naughty!’. And to see how young children behave away from Mum and Dad.'

The residency is presented as part of TRUTH ABOUT YOUTH – the Royal Exchange’s five year partnership project supported by the Co-operative Foundation, which aims to challenge and change negative perceptions of young people by creating projects which enable them to work with adults, the media and the wider community.
This inter-generational residency of a very different kind will run alongside the run of the company’s production of Alexandr Ostrovsky’s comedy TOO CLEVER BY HALF – produced in association with the Royal Exchange which runs from Wednesday 10 July to Saturday 17 August. It forms part of the company’s preparations for GET HAPPY, a Christmas show for young children and their families to be staged at The Barbican in London later in the year.

For further information please contact JOHN GOODFELLOW (Press & Communications Manager) on 0161 615 6783 /

Watch a full interview with Paul Hunter about the project at

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