Foolish People Portfolio 2011

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FoolishPeople create theatre, collaborative events, live art, music & film. We curate and engineer immersive experiences that have the power to raise a numinous experience within the spectator. In 2010, FoolishPeople founded the Weaponized imprint to extend our immersive art into the realm of publishing. Over a number of years, we have developed a unique practice, Theatre of Manifestation. We combine mythology, shamanism, drama therapy, strategic forecasting and open source collaboration in the creation of this work. Each piece takes form by merging text, performance, sound, art, light and the building itself to create a unique, dreamlike world that living characters inhabit. Our audience must choose their own journey without guidance, a technique that challenges their habitual way of watching art and entertainment in a conventional manner. Static consumption is not possible, active engagement and participation is vital and absolutely necessary. Each audience member will have their own personal experience inside the piece and will absorb different installations and parts of the narrative in a non-linear fashion. Fragments, which the witness will use to construct their own reality. This structure allows for an intimate interaction with our art that can be a powerful, compelling and a liberating experience, though sometimes uncomfortable, as the content may challenge and stir powerful emotions within the spectator. These accumulate in our ultimate aim to initiate an expansion in consciousness within the individual, for positive change. John Harrigan founded FoolishPeople in 1989, taking its name from the Fool major arcana of the tarot. The Fool encourages us to walk our own path, not the path of the 'herd', to become a free spirit, free from societal constraints, who is able to let go of outmoded beliefs and ideals. We have produced our work across a large variety of sites including conventional theatres, galleries and site specific venues. We have worked in prestigious cultural venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Arcola Theatre and the Horse Hospital in London, historical buildings like the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham, internationally to America and Amsterdam and worked for clients such as the BBC. Our core collective features five artists from England, America and the Czech Republic, which grows when we undertake new collaborations with worldwide artists in the development of our open source projects. If you would like to discuss a commission, collaboration or receive information on FoolishPeople workshops please email:

REVIEWS"The detail and beauty of this work is spellbinding, so that at times one loses all sense of where the performance begins and the truth ends... Each person coming to this piece will leave having experienced it differently, the more open you are to the enchantment within it, the more deeply you will be immersed...Its memory will stay with you long after it has ended. This is not simply a performance; it is an experience not to be missed. Gabriella Apicella, Remotegoat on 'A Red Threatening Sky' "Anyone who has lived at all will find moments that will be personally painful but this is a fascinating experience and it is performed with such reality by the actors that it is totally absorbing. Howard Loxton, The British Theatre Guide on 'A Red Threatening Sky' "This was one of many performances I have seen so far this year and a thoroughly enthralling performance it was...All the performers deserve a five star rating. Well directed. Heather Lenzan, RemoteGoat on 'A Red Threatening Sky' "The Abattoir Pages has a lot going for it...Architecture and art combine in unexpected ways, creating unsettling sights...It feels creepy and pagan. For curiosity value, this is unbeatable, and it's undoubtedly a memorable night out." Lyn Gardner, The Guardian on 'The Abattoir Pages' "A visit may uncover more than you expect or even wish as you wander through the chambers of this most fascinating space. To be given the opportunity to exist even for a short time in these powerful rooms stained with emotion, pain, suffering, and the very basest natures of life is a privilege, and The Abattoir Pages brings the voices and spirits contained within those walls out to play. Expectations, desires and preconceptions should be released as you walk through the doorway, and only then may their many mysteries be revealed to you this Halloween." Gabriella Apicella, Notes from the Underground on 'The Abattoir Pages' "Burton-esque, Poe-esque, Munch-esque, a distorted group of characters embodying the spirit of there being "nothing funny about clowns at midnight", lead you through a dreamlike promenade performance set in an atomically overshadowed 1950s circus...All the actors do a great job of being engaging, humorous, sympathetic or downright scary...Writer and director, John Harrigan deserves a lot of credit for the organisation of this brilliant cobweb of a performance. It's a great juggling act, worthy of the big top." Andy Marchant, Remotegoat on 'Cirxus' "The stark and industrial setting for this piece of promenade theatre is instantly eerie and unnerving...Harrigan completely smashes down the fourth wall as the audience, walking around the space, become entangled in the piece. The experience is simultaneously funny and disconcerting....Much of the excitement of this piece comes from its mystery, so I am loath to give anything else away. Cirxus is a place of the unknown and should remain so for those of you yet to enter this demented playground." Rachel Sheridan, What's On Stage on 'Cirxus' "An interesting addition to a growing genre." Andrew Haydon, TimeOut on 'Cirxus' "Dead Language imagines a future in which the work of art stars like Banksy is so popular that fans trade in the DNA of the artists themselves, creating clone gangs of Emins and Warhols that roam the city. In part, Dead Language is an investigation of the limits of intellectual property rights, but it also a smart and spirited examination of the way that the value of art shifts with time and context." Ekow Eshun, Artistic Director of the ICA on 'Dead Language' "The Singularity is nervous, convulsive, vividly compelling theatre. FoolishPeople engineer an exhilarating collision between Artaud and Cronenberg, to affect a total experience whose immersive power is deeply unsettling and relentlessly alive. This is a young company to watch... possibly from behind the sofa." Chris Goode, Playwright on 'The Singularity'

PAST PRODUCTIONS & PERFORMANCES2010 The Basement- Ward 12, Princess Louise Hospital, London In association with Secret Cinema One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

A Red Threatening Sky, The Old Abattoir, London2009 The Abattoir Pages, The Old Abattoir, London In association with Guerrilla Zoo

Cirxus, Arcola Theatre, London2008 Terra:Extremitas, NDSM-werf, Amsterdam 2007 Dead Language, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London & Someday Lounge, Portland, USA

Desecration, Galleries of Justice, Nottingham In association with the Theatre of Ophidia Weaponised Art 3.0, Lazy Gramophone, The Luminaire, London Terra Incognita, 491 Gallery, London Ghost Redux, Vertigo Gallery, London2006 Weaponised Art 2.0, Guerrilla Zoo, Corsica Arts Centre, London

Weaponised Art 1.0, Guerrilla Zoo, Corsica Arts Centre, London Dark Nights of the Soul: Cycle III, Unconvention festival, London2005 Dr Bleach, Weird Weekend Festival, Devon 2004 Escape from RS1, Creative Swing, London 1994 Revelations: Fear the mind, Hertfordshire 1991 Enochian Language of Angels, Hertfordshire

RESIDENCIES2005- 2006 Dark Nights Dark Nights Dark Nights Dark Nights Dark Nights Dark Nights The Horse Hospital, London of the Soul: Cycle VI - Carousel of the Soul Cycle V - Home of the Soul Cycle IV - Congealed of the Soul: Cycle III - Emergence of the Soul: Cycle II - The Fluid Flesh of the Soul: Cycle I - The Wrym Shroud

TOURS2004 Ruined Steel Camden People's Theatre, Trestle Arts Base, University of Hertfordshire 2002 The Singularity Camden People's Theatre, The Barn Theatre, Baldock Hall

SELECTED LECTURES & WORKSHOPS2010 The Providence Experiments Theatre of Manifestation Workshop 2009 FoolishPeople Workshop in Performance and Myth Central School of Speech & Drama, London 2007 'Dead Language' Workshop & Lecture by John Harrigan Institute of Contemporary Arts, London Workshop Facilitator and Guest Speaker esoZone, Portland, Oregon, USA FoolishPeople Workshop in Performance and Myth British Broadcasting Corporation, Hertfordshire 2006-2008 John Harrigan Part-time Lecturer in Theatre Studies and Myth University of Hertfordshire 2006 Workshops in Myth & Magick, Treadwells, Covent Garden, London

PUBLICATIONS2010 Cirxus by John Harrigan ISBN: 978-1-907810-00-8 Dead Language by John Harrigan ISBN: 978-1-907819-04-6 The Sparky Show by Xanadu Xero ISBN: 978-1-907810-02-2 Forum by Richard Webb ISBN: 978-1-907810-06-0 2008 Terra:Extremitas- A FoolishPeople Guide to the End of the Earth Anthology of Comic Art and Prose 2004 Ruined Steel: The Fleshlist Graphic Novel

MUSICAbattoir Pages Original Score CD A Red Threatening Sky Original Score CD


Listen to or download the Basement - Ward 12 Special Edition of the Weaponized Podcast @ Secret Cinema presents One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest BBC Talking Movies From Russia With Love

AWARDSThe Times Top 5 Events for Dead Language The LondonPaper Top Event for Dead Language Dead Language featured as part of The London Lates Season of cultural events at major galleries and museums. Magi of Trygonia awarded to John Harrigan by the Dionysian Underground for Dark Nights Of The Soul Antholog