lsd cb

All you Need is LSD

B2 BelgradeTheatre, Coventry


In this world premier from Told by an Idiot, Alice in Wonderland rubs shoulders with The Beatles, Monty Python, Aldous Huxley, Steve Jobs, Dr Timothy Leary and more.

When your introduction is conducted by an actor in a huge Harvey-style rabbit suit (George Potts) you know that your belief is in for a bit of suspension.

It’s a ‘trip’ down memory lane with some pretty wild happenings to boot. The characters are played by the cast of four. And time is the link between the scenes. Time is bending, moving, becoming transformed by characters and experiences including Dr Who.

It’s a history of LSD from its accidental creation by Dr Hoffman (Sophie Mercell) in Basle and the famous crazy bike ride after his first dose way back in 1938. While Sophie played Dr Hoffman, George Potts played his wife and Jack Hunter their child. That was such a lovely touch.

Our playwright Leo Butler (Annie Fitzmaurice) is researching LSD but becomes involved personally in a new experiment conducted by Government Drugs Tsar Professor David Nutt (George Potts) in Hammersmith into the uses of LSD in palliative care of the dying. Leo Butler’s experiences colour quite literally the scenes that follow as his mind copes with the invasion of a pack of Lurpak butter, the Hungry Caterpillar and visits from various luminaries mentioned at the top.

There’s a serious and controversial message well-hidden at the core. How did drugs that are well-known to provide comfort to people in pain much better than morphine become banned? How did the banned drugs become so widely available as a recreational alternative to alcohol? Why is alcohol tolerated?

The set is clever, three-dimensional and hard working, transforming the stage from experimental drug unit to Alice’s rabbit hole to a drug-induced bouncy castle. Lighting, as you might imagine, adds to the hallucinogenic experiences.

In a lengthy section, Dr Goldstein (Jack Hunter) brings LSD to Aldous Huxley as he dies. Goldstein also brings news that Jack Kennedy has been shot. Both he and Huxley die on the same day. Further coincidence occurs as Dr Who becomes involved time travelling between mushroom-eating prehistoric man and the future where drugs such as LSD are offered to stressed workers in lieu of holiday as a matter of course. To 17-11-18

Jane Howard


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