Tim Prentki is Professor of Theatre for Development at the University of Winchester, UK, where he ran the MA in Theatre and Media as Development for many years. He is co-editor of The Applied Theatre Reader and author of The Fool in European Theatre. He writes regularly on Theatre for Development for academic journals throughout the world and is a member of the editorial board of Research in Drama Education.
Joking A Part: The Social Performance of Folly
Folly is, possibly, the crucial ingredient for a healthy society. Once we lose the ability to play the fool, convincing ourselves of the seriousness of our purposes, we run the risk of becoming trapped in a world without alternatives. This paper looks to theatre to provide spaces for play through the rediscovery of its ancient links to the fool. Our survival depends upon adaptability in the face of constant change. Today the gravest threat is posed by the neoliberal monoculture. We can challenge it, not with violent revolution but with the playful flexibility of a shape-shifting, foolish theatre