Preview: And The Horse You Rode In On, Barbican, 14 May

I sometimes wonder why I read the flyers that theatres send me, because I mostly make decisions on word of mouth or reviews after shows have opened.  But every so often something grabs me and I decide to go for it cold.

I don’t usually try to figure out what exactly it is that has grabbed me, but for the sake of this post (and in hopes of pulling others in)

-“Sell-out success” – if you sell out the Barbican you’re probably a safe bet

-It is part of the Bite series, which is generally edgier, higher-risk but well-curated stuff. There are plenty of places I would not go see something described as “dark, funny and deeply disturbing”, on grounds that it would not be that funny, or that it might actually be dark and deeply disturbing.  At the Barbican it is likely to be darkly funny and only mildly disturbing.

-It is a comedy; some of the Bite stuff, edgy though it is, can be a bit worthy/earnest for my taste

-“Inspired by a variety of sources” and the early description of the company as having a style of “distinctive storytelling” somehow gave me the impression the show was devised by the company; I’ve seen some great shows (e.g. A Disappearing Number) produced by this method

-Age guidance 12+ is on balance a plus, means they’re going for it.

The Times quote below was not in the brochure I read – I would call the quote neither a plus nor a minus, since it’s somewhat clear to me that there was a “but” either immediately before or after this clause.

Perhaps we’ll see you there!


Following the sell-out success of The Fahrenheit Twins at the Barbican in 2009, Told by an Idiot’s distinctive storytelling returns with this sinister comedy of ineptitude.

A rather well known rabbit attempts to stop an alien attack, a rebellious student contemplates an atrocious act and the strangest ever episode of Are You Being Served is about to begin.

Inspired by a variety of sources including Hitchcock’s Sabotage, and the writings of Dario Fo and Günter Grass, And The Horse You Rode In On examines extreme acts of violence and the lengths people will go to for their beliefs. A dark, funny and deeply disturbing look at how powerless we are to stop people once they’ve reached the point of no return.

‘The questioning intelligence they bring to their work is admirable and uncommonly powerful.’ The Times

Performance time: 19.45pm (also 3pm on 7 & 14 May)
Running time: 90mins / no interval

Age guidance 12+

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