All You Need is LSD dissects the drugs debate at the Belgrade Theatre
How far would you be prepared to go in search of a good story? For acclaimed playwright Leo Butler, an invitation to take part in the world’s first LSD drug trials since the 1960s proved just too intriguing to refuse…
Following its world premiere at the Birmingham REP this October, darkly humorous drama All You Need Is LSD heads to the Belgrade Theatre next month, drawing on its writer’s own experience as a medical guinea pig in 2015.
Created by renowned theatre company Told by an Idiot, this curious new production playfully dissects the UK’s ongoing drugs debate, combining real-life stories with the controversial research of Professor David Nutt in a story that is often stranger than fiction.
From 15-17 November, audiences are invited to join Leo as he tumbles down the psychedelic rabbit hole in search of enlightenment. Along the way, they’ll encounter a whole cast of historical characters from Aldous Huxley to The Beatles and from Steve Jobs to Ronald Reagan, whose own relationships with LSD are hilariously and poignantly uncovered.
Part history, part wild fantasy, this unique production puts to use Told By An Idiot’s bold, anarchic and experimental style to shine a light on a debate that refuses to go away, exploring questions around freedom, fear, life and death, and questioning whether the world still needs a psychedelic revolution.
Presented in partnership with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, All You Need Is LSD forms part of Told By An Idiot’s 20th anniversary programme. It is directed by Told by an Idiot co-founder and Artistic Director Paul Hunter, together with “Associate Idiot” Stephen Harper, who has devised and performed in six productions with the company. Casting includes Annie Fitzmaurice, George Potts, Jack Hunter and Sophie Mercell.
Leo Butler said: “This play takes inspiration from a lifetime of my experiences – from a misspent youth through to the responsibilities of fatherhood, and from being a guinea pig in medical trials to actually creating the play itself… I can’t wait to see it unfold on stage – the next step in an already extraordinary journey.”