Nomadic Academy for Fools


The Fool is an illusive part of self / an influence in the silent spaces between words / to see where assumptions of the inner worlds can enforce taboos and inhibit your trust in self / to turn fear into a positive direction of travel / to know I AM is A Fool: invisible to touch as to taste / that harbours in the wind / in the trees and waves of the crashing ocean / to respect self / to trust the invisible / to see that assumptions are not the same as knowing / to open doors that were not locked except by prejudice and the lack of proceeding / to know oneself and our place in the universe that greets you to know yourself / to jump the bounds within your self prestige / to travel beyond those self styled boundaries / opening the understanding from the confines of previous judgements, created by society, family, conventions / taught and groomed / to create yourself a-knew / to use real eyes / then realize

(Jonathan Kay)


Fooling is a unique technique that introduces you to the architecture of your own personal inner stage, upon which you are able to perform on or in any space, and at any time, using just improvisation and your own imagination. 

This work stretches past ego, allowing you to feel at ease in any situation and comfortable talking intimately with anyone in the audience, be them a beggar, king or queen. As a performer you slowly learn to play within this architecture, which Jonathan Kay calls “the Structure”. As you also learn about the atmosphere available in each part of the stage, you allow yourself to be influenced, and in doing so you as the performer surrenders to that experience to create whatever kind of ‘stage’ you are performing in, be it the street, in a church, theatre or in a living-room. The Structure is developed through the workshops. It is a way of moving through the stage area and meeting the unknown with a relaxed attitude.


Every year in September the NOA starts with a new group of  8 people who join the full cycle of the NOA as a continuously working group.  

This group is called the Beginners. To apply for this, you must sign up for the next NOA audition. You should have joined at least one of the open NOA workshops or a solo workshop with Jonathan Kay. Find out about the schedule for the annual training in 2021_22 



Eternal Great Beginning: December 4 - 8, 2021

The EGB is now the place where the work of NOA becomes public. It is a festive gathering that takes place 4 times a year around the equinoxes and solstices. The EGB celebrates the Fool, the ability to live in the moment and from the heart and share this with others.

Find out more 



“What I feel is that I found new ways to look at and see myself and my depths and the world around me, new ways to make friends with them both. Found my self stretching the limits of my trust to others and found caring friends. I found some of the things which lie behind my fears and that made me feel more free and rich, open and involved. There was a lot of honesty and acceptance and love. I hope that’s something I can share with people no matter where I go. I would most definitely love to learn, experience and share more with the academy. I don´t want to escape to solitude any more, I want to expose myself with others.”

(Jenni Johanna Parviainen)



Jonathan Kay

Jonathan Kay is a 21st century Fool and the founder of the NOA. Jonathan is recognized as a leading performer in the ‘Theatre of Immediacy’ of Fooling, and is a highly respected practitioner and teacher of Fooling workshops. His work with audiences is internationally known. Jonathan is founder of the largest street theatre festival in the UK, The Hat Fair. He has performed and taught in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, South Korea, Scotland, Barcelona, Bosnia, Ireland, Jordan USA and extensively throughout the UK. He is part of the family at Glastonbury Festival, since over 25 years and has performed at countless festivals across Europe including Rudolstadt, Sweden’s ‘No Mind’ festival, Shambala, Secret Garden, Wilderness and the Sunday Papers Live in London. 


The NOA Annual Training Groups also Work with

these wonderful people, that  exercised Fooling by Jonathan Kay over a long period of time, developed their own artistic programs and performances. All foolcilitators have been part of the Nomadic Academy for Fools themselves over 7 years ago. To find out what they worked on as artists, facilitators and performers, klick “more about” below each picture.

Loves to… inhabit the place of ‘secret, sacred, scared and scarred’… flip from one emotion to another… create characters from what is waiting to be expressed from inside… move physically and spontaneously… from a natural place beyond thinking… express the ‘twins’… enjoy conflict without trying to resolve it….make a tableau or ‘blob’ which bursts out into choreographed movement, dance and song… be in a rock band… be adored… let the imagination fly and feel full- filled!!! Also loves dragons and baking cakes.​

15 years of professional experience working in theatre as a writer, performer*, dramaturg** and director***. Specialising in new writing and hip hop theatre. Maxwell had often used the learnings from Jonathan Kay’s structure within his work, which has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. In addition he had delivered workshops to all ages and is proficient in music composition and production. *As writer/ performer: Bouncing Cats & Boom Boom Pups (Southbank Centre), CountryBoy’s Struggle (Contact Theatre), Abandoman (Pleasance Theatre), East London West Sydney (British Council / Sydney Festival), Riz MC’s MICroscope (Sadler’s Wells / Fabric), Markus The Sadist (Jonzi D Productions), Everything Must Go (Soho Theatre), Essence (Birmingham Rep), Ganges to Nile (The Drum), Mirrorage (Birmingham Rep), Embryonica (Decibel). As writer: Fagin’s Twist (The Place), Street Life (Paddington Arts), Guvnas (Far From The Norm). **As dramaturg: The Den (Faith Drama / Barbican), Avant Garde Dance’s Romeo & Juliet (National Theatre). ***As director: Bouncing Cats & Boom Boom Pups (Southbank Centre), Possession: Afillia’s Return (Remarkable Productions), The Future Is Unwritten (Greenwich Dance), From The Front To The Back (Greenwich Dance), The Sun & The Moon (Southbank Centre), Takeover (Southbank Centre), Coventry – In The Mix (Warwick Arts Centre) & Stormy: The Life of Lena Horne (Copasetic/Lone Wolves).

has been making solo shows for the past 6 years. Touring in USA, Uk and Europe. She makes her shows about taboos taking audiences into the unknown with lightness and depth in equal measure. She works with the taboo’s of Sex and death and alongside her work as a fool and an artist she is training to be a doula of Death and Birth. She runs an off shoot Fool’s company with her husband Christopher Murray called FoolSize Theatre which incorporates Street Theatre. Additionally she paints for pleasure and pupeteers for payment ( and pleasure). She has received Arts Council funding on to occassions to support her work. Her current research explores how the twin relationship found in the structure corresponds with the twin relationship of a lucid dreamer and how these may help in the preparation for and the process of death. She also worked with Jonathan Kay and others on Richard II during a 3 year process

“Once, while out walking, I saw 3 foxcubs. They were aware of me, knowing I was no threat & their trust gave me the exquisite privilege of witnessing their play. It is this that I would offer: a passionate commitment to creating & holding a space where nature, in its human form, can remember the essential wisdom of play (“fooling “).” Rosamund Hoskins trained with Jonathan Kay in Theatre of Now 2002/3. She continues to meet with two friends from that time (Amanda and Sophia) exploring the healing and supportive aspects of the work. Structure of the “second week” with Rosamund Each participant will be guided through a process of making a mask to “hold” an inner aspect of him/herself. The mask-making comes from a combination of the work of “BodySoul” and theatre work. Once the basic mask is made there are exercises throughout the week to cultivate a relationship with this “other” and the mask can be shaped and decorated to align with this. Alongside the more extravert work of performance there will be an emphasis on creating a sense of safety and freedom in which to explore the inner world. Rosamund is a piano teacher. She also teachers the Alexander Technique and there may be opportunities to experience this work where appropriate and useful.​

Jolie Booth is a cutting edge artist and theatre producer with a passion for making creative and innovative work in a wide variety of mediums. She has a wide range of interests that cover all aspects of the creative industry from event management, producing and consultancy, to performing, directing, designing and writing; with her company, Kriya Arts, securing highly respected industry contracts early on, including six years with world famous fool Jonathan Kay and three years with annual street arts festival the Streets of Brighton. Jolie Booth is a dream weaver. Kriya (in Sanskrit “action, deed, effort”) most commonly refers to a “completed action”. It is the moment of transformation when a pattern of negative Karma is broken.​

Curator and artistic director for Frome’s Day of The Fool. Trained and performed with Theatre of Now (Jonathan Kay’s Company formed for Romeo and Juliet touring project, pre-Nomadic Academy for Fools) and the Festival of Fools Theatre Company born out of a work with Jonathan Kay on Shakespeares “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Tempest”. Established own theatre practice under the name TheatreSpace, to perform in solo and collaborative projects up to present Day. Won The Guardian National ‘Silent Shakespeare’ prize.

The body of the actor leads the way…

physical exercises and practice, to see how a performer can use movement and voice to transit through the structure. The body as vessel for the imaginative narrator to traverse from 1 to 4 and back again. Body-led. Teasing control away from conscious knowing, in order to inhabit the dream… (while letting Mind support in the right way).

The ensemble as Body…

Chorus practice, moving and speaking together (often in inner conflict but still as one body) from different places in the structure. Shoaling and shape shifting. Landscapes and elements.

Where do I end and I begin?

The dynamic of individual and group, stepping in and stepping out of the Whole body to interact with it (letting the audience identify with the individual). Again, tangible theatre exercises and games to practice that movement. Led by physicality and emotion.

Also … seeing the audience as an extension of the Body of the Play (the audience aspect).


Ana-Svenja Kiesewalter

Ana-Svenja manages the Nomadic Academy for Fools since 2017. She is a teacher of theatre from Berlin, where she leads different kinds of theatre projects for young people.

Joe Volk

Joe has been Jonathan Kay’s manager since 2012. He is a signed musician from Bristol, now based in Bern, Switzerland. He also manages the Swiss composer Mario Batkovic.