A School for Fools

A man kneeling on a boat in sand

1st June 2020

A School for Fools was the first online world premiere in BFT’s 15-year history. Performed and broadcast live from Minsk in the bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms of the 12-strong ensemble, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this production is a celebration of creativity in the most difficult of conditions from a Company who has, through necessity, pioneered creating award-winning theatre at-distance.

A School for Fools is an experimental novella and cult classic from the avant-gardist writer, Sasha Sokolov. Directed and adapted for BFT by one of its most senior ensemble members, Pavel Haradnitski, this atypical coming-of-age story tells of a young boy living with dual personality disorder. Exploring the conflict between the individual and the outside world some of today’s most urgent concerns are laid bare: can the internal self ever be fully reconciled with the external self? – and can freedom ever co-exist with oppression? 

Described by Vladimir Nabokov as “an enchanting, tragic, and touching book” it is often viewed as a metaphor for life in the Soviet Union and the regime’s brutal treatment of nonconformists.

“the pleasures of Haradnitski’s production are imitatively cinematic. This production is exuberantly and inventively acted by a team that was clearly trained in make-do theater…..It’s the virus of creative transformation that’s being circulated here. Catching it is good for your health”

The New York Times, 2 June 2020