The Wise Fools of Gotham

One day whilst reading an article about the making of the new Batman movie we discovered that Gotham city was so called because of the antics of the people of Gotham, a few miles outside of Nottingham. And so we went to see the Parish Council with an idea.

The result was a performance which took as its starting point the fifteenth century ‘noodle stories’ which tell of how the whole village pretended to be mad to avoid King John building a hunting lodge and demanding extra taxes. Taking the audience on a journey through the entire village they discovered what the villagers did with cheeses and wasps’ nests, eels and crickets, and the infamous cuckoo.

Working with existing community groups across the village on different tales we managed to conjure up a cast of 109 performers – our biggest cast to date – and entertained audience numbers in excess of 1000.

Although there was some scepticism from the Parish Council when we first arrived Gotham has, as a result of this project, fully embraced its literary heritage. The Gotham Totem, referencing the stories was unveiled in 2013 and the plays were performed once again, this time without any assistance from the company. If we are ever to have said we have initiated a new village custom, then this could be it.

Produced in partnership with Gotham Parish Council and Rushcliffe Borough Council. Funded by the Local Heritage Initiative.


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