In the Rehearsal Room with Told by an Idiot

Monday, 13 August 2018 23:00 | Posted by 
Last week, Unity staff were welcomed to an open rehearsal of Leo Butler’s new play for Told by an Idiot, All You Need is LSD. It was a wonderful chance for us to see what shape the play is taking, and what audiences can expect when the production arrives in Liverpool this October as part of its UK tour.

The play marks a departure in the style of Told by an Idiot, a highly spontaneous, physical company who don’t usually work from a script. Masters of devised theatre, the group normally create their shows from the ground up, with improvisation from the cast and company forming the seeds of the performance. The company’s artistic director, Paul Hunter, found Leo’s script impossible to resist; surreal and offbeat, he felt it suited Told by an Idiot and their working style, and the project was born.

The play explores our relationship to mind-altering drugs, and Leo himself participated in the world’s first LSD medical trials since the 1960’s. As you might expect, the play’s format and narrative are unconventional; traditional scenes are dispensed with, and instead the story progresses fluidly via a series of dreamlike events and interactions. Familiar characters appear at random to hilarious effect; Alice in Wonderland and prominent pschotroptic drug advocate Timothy Leary among them. This hallucinatory style will be componded by a gravity-defying set that invites comparisons with 80’s smash hit game Tetris – the model of which can be seen below.

Fans of Told by an Idiot’s anarchic, creative style will not be disappointed; the energy in the rehearsal studio last week was remarkable, and there the room was filled with belly laughs at Leo’s outrageous, freewheeling script. And If you are new to the madcap genius of Told by an Idiot, All You Need is LSD could just be the perfect introduction. Just say YES!

All you need is LSD
All You Need is LSD plays in Unity 1 from 16 – 20 October 2018.

Tickets can be booked online here or by calling 0151 709 4988.



Becky Birtwistle

Becky is Unity Theatre's Communications Officer.  You can follow her on twitter at @beckybirtwistle