Fooling Workshops With Jonathan Kay and the NOA

“I´m still a bit baffled about all that happened, because it seems that so much happened. Hard to find words for it all or analyze with reason. 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)

“The fooling workshop touched, poked, shook and tickled something in me that was about to escape to the inner world for good. Theatre-like playing, improvisation, sharing experiences (even difficult family traumas and such) and music were knitted together with the amazingly welcoming and talented warm people of NOA. Some kind of a kindle of creativity, collaboration and courage to share was sparked and I need to do my share to keep it going, and not alone! I’m glad that no difficult themes or emotions were avoided: in the contrary. The constant feedback and conversation multiplied the dimensions of the exercises. I highly appreciate all the conversations and patience people have in NOA. Such supporting environment is golden. I hope to get back on board soon!”

(Heli Vakama)

Fooling Workshops With Jonathan Kay

“Jonathan worked with my students at the Drama Centre London Foundation Course. The students not only loved the workshops, but they carried what they had experienced into their other work. Jonathan is a special and rare artist, he is able to inspire and entertain, teach and enthuse, while communicating his love and enjoyment of performing. The students described his work as ‘joyous and exhilarating’.”                        
Richard Williams

Director – Foundation in Performance, Drama Centre London


“Jonathan has created so may truly memorable moments for people at the Secret Garden Party over the years. An utterly original and inspiring performer – something I don’t say lightly.”

Freddie Fellowes
Founder and Director – Secret Garden Party


“Over the last 14 years I have taken 4 courses with Jonathan Kay and dipped into ten festival sessions when I found him randomly in fields. It is rare honour to find a teacher/ facilitator/ human as present as Jonathan. His course work and process entered every cell in my body. Look, see, be, fly is in my daily vernacular.” 

Agamemnon Otero MBE
Co-founder director & CEO – Repowering.
Director – Hydra / Energy Garden / Brixton Energy Solar


“Jonathan Kay is indelible as an artist, thinker, teacher and fool. Any time spent with him will stay with you for the better- and for ever. He opens the shutters on another world that sits just inside this one. It’s hard to express the profound influence he’s had on my work, but it’s there, playful and endlessly provocative.”

Tim Crouch
Playwright, Theatre Director, Actor

More testimonials from Workshop participants:

“Firstly, a big thank you to Jonathan for creating and holding such a space. I’ve attended and been involved with a few different circles over the years, and the notion of creating a “safe space” has always been paramount, and an often repeated mantra by different facillitators – so it was incredibly refreshing to be in a circle where it felt distinctly unsafe! (I hope this makes sense – its a compliment – and was also very aware that Jonathan holds an unsafe space in an incredibly loving and safe way!). I found it immensely challenging, and was sorely tempted to bunk off and go to the beach on the second day instead, but glad I didnt. Both myself and my friend Jude left feeling quite shell-shocked, in a good way. I think. In fact, it didn´t come to mind when filling out the survey, and the events of the workshop unfolded in the way they needed to unfold, but some decompression time immediately after the workshop, before travel etc, would have been handy. There’s a zen proverb that keeps rolling around my head since last weekend – “the obstacle IS the path” – and looking at how challenging i found the workshop, and the obstacles it bought up, im both very interested and scared shitless of doing a longer immersion.”

“I found the workshop very powerful. It is still resonating with me. To me, it was like shamanic workshops that I had been to before. Jonathan almost took on these different roles to each person in the group. He seems to be incredibly intuitive and empathic. It was amazing to see and be a part of peoples processes. How each of us came across parts of ourselves and how those parts were also parts of us. I loved the group element where we all supported each other. And the play and fun that cut through the seriousness. Also, as difficult as it is, I also appreciated the unknown, the searching, the fumbling around trying to find a way and then have a breakthrough. It meant I was really awake to what was going on, even if I could not see! I really appreciated the experience and wisdom that Jonathan shared with us so generously. Really strong thoughts and propositions that helped to reshape the way I could see the world.”

“Jonathan creates a sacred space and tends to it intensely. The exercises and feedback all turn the soil and nourish the seed.”

“There was a lot I loved about the workshop. Im sorry its over. But most of all I loved how it relentless compelled me to connect with my heart and my truth.”

“I loved the huge body of knowledge and experience that Jonathan imparted. I enjoyed his performing within the workshop (demonstrations)and the constant sharing of how we were all doing. I admired the coaching and the feedback and the individual work.”

“I like JK’s magical ability to create an atmosphere where complete strangers work on themselves very openly while supporting each other.”

“I went in no knowing much. And left very inspired and excited about future performances. It was great to work with JK and I was very fortunate to have a nice range of people in my workshop too.”

“All participants seemed to be stretched to do more than they thought they could. I certainly was. All were treated equally, despite differing ability.”

“Challenging. Confrontational. Hilarious. Provided moments of deep healing for some of the participants.”

“There are too many to mention, so I’ll keep it brief. Let’s just say that it has turned my view of myself and how I thought others viewed me on its head, and absolutely in a positive way. In that sense it was utterly transformational – there are parts of my character that are and will always be ‘me’, and yet for over 15 years I’ve attempted to push them away in some way or other. The weekend with Jonathan taught me to accept and nurture those parts of me, and for that I am truly grateful. I like Jonathan’s leading style, sometimes soft, sometimes hard, but always pushing us to learn as much as we could. I liked how open he was to everyone, with all of our mad habits and worries and character traits. Thank you Jonathan!”

“Jonathan’s skill, experience, wisdom, integrity, generosity, patience, insight, passion, playfulness…need I go on?”

“I liked the experience of playing in a deep and fun way, having a full spectrum to play with.”

“I opened up something in me that ha been blocked for a long time”

“Jonathan’s expert holding and leading of a mixed group Alot of laughter and irreverence, but with a serious backbone.”

“It was exactly what I was looking for. I loved the connection that we all established with one another, the sense that something sacred, magical and very real was happening, the pressure cooker “group therapy” vibe that sometimes led to people exploding and having a rant, the humour, sensitivity, perceptiveness, quick-wittedness, ferocity, variety and balance that Jonathan embodied. Lots and lots of things.Too much to put into words.”

“I liked Jonathan and his ability to communicate his ideas. His wisdom. I loved learning about the fool and realising its long history and appreciating the lifetime of work and energy that goes into keeping it alive In Ones life. I enjoyed the group and getting to know new people from different paths in life. I loved the venue and sense of space and possibilities. Great to watch Jonathan weave his fool into the gap of people and open them up.”

The “Eternal Great Beginning” EGB is the place where the work of NOA becomes public. It is a festive gathering for five days, 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. We work, celebrate and perform together!

At the EGB, people who work as a permanent group in the NOA hold workshops. You can attend these workshops and immerse yourself in the work together with a fixed group for 5 days. In the evening there will be a common program with open fooling (common improvisation) and insights into the Shakespeare work, the play “as you like it” on which our 5th NOA year is currently working.

The EGB is a place for experienced Fooling performers to recharge with the spirit of work. It is a place for those interested in the NOA to get to know the community and all that lives here.