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, and last year Jonathan’s lengthy feature and interview on the BBC World News channel to a global audience of millions was the culmination of an extremely busy period.
Jonathan is founder of the largest street theatre festival in the UK, The Hat Fair, and is an Honorary Fellow of The University of Winchester. He has performed and taught in Canada, USA, Australia, Berlin, Hamburg, Cork, France, Sweden, Edinburgh, Dublin, Barcelona, Bosnia, Jordan and extensively throughout the UK.
He is part of the family at Glastonbury Festival, with over 25 successive years in the main Theatre tent, 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. In 2017 he was invited to give a sold-out talk as part of TedX Manchester where he turned the event completely on its head to a rapturous audience.
So what is Fooling? Fooling is a form of improvised theatre. The dramatic journey is as unpredictable and unknowable for the performer as it is for the audience. Foolish theatre is explicitly non-traditional and without rational considerations, because it is driven by feelings held in the Now. The act of “Thinking” is improvisational theatre’s most immediate and persistent assassin. Go with Feeling, not with Thinking. He sees Fooling as inclusive, a way of including both the ‘real’ world of the audience and the ‘imaginary’ world of theatre.
Jonathan’s stomping ground is on the cliff between inertia and speed, encouraging participants to fly or to learn how to land, not only in their imagination but also in their purpose. He helps us to look at those hypothetical anchors that can tie people down for a lifetime, engaging them in a compassionate, humorous and sometimes challenging way to liberate themselves, turning what appears to be valueless into gold.
“I’ve always recommended anyone to do this workshop…it will be an extraordinary journey.” Toby Jones, Actor