UPDATE: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently only accepting ebook orders through our website. Click here for more information.
The Reluctant Escapologist: Adventures in Alternative Theatre
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback, 336 pages ISBN: 9781854595386Publication Date:
8 Jul 2010
Size: 217mm x 138mm£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
EPUB, 336 pages ISBN: 9781788502252Publication Date:
22 Aug 2019
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)

The Reluctant Escapologist: Adventures in Alternative Theatre

By Mike Bradwell

Paperback £14.99£11.99

EPUB £14.99£11.99

  • Winner of the Theatre Book Prize - 2010

An unrivalled unofficial history of the rise – and partial fall – of fringe theatre, Mike Bradwell's deadpan account of his adventures is one of the funniest and angriest books to come out of theatre today. Winner of the 2010 Theatre Book Prize awarded by the Society for Theatre Research.

As he travels through a counterculture peopled by nutters, chancers, dreamers and prophets, Bradwell makes us marvel at his resilience and creativity, captured in a succession of vivid – and often laugh-out- loud – episodes such as: creating a character with Mike Leigh; enjoying the onstage mass orgasms of The Living Theatre; eating fire with Bob Hoskins; becoming an underwater escapologist (reluctantly) in the Ken Campbell Roadshow; creating Hull Truck; and doing battle with the Health and Safety brigade, the funding bodies and a Polish heavy-metal disco during his ten years running the famous Bush Theatre in West London.

Bradwell is a passionate champion of the alternative as well as an admired and successful director. He makes a compelling – and urgent – case for preserving the true and subversive spirit of theatre from castration at the hands of bankers, consultants, stakeholders, cultural-diversity compliance monitors and the Arts Council. 

'Towards the end of this brilliant account of his epic forty-year journey, Mike tells us, 'I don't believe that theatre is safe in the hands of grown-ups', and it is his healthy, eternal youthfulness that makes the book so inspiring' Mike Leigh, from his Foreword

Extra Content: read an edited extract published in The Guardian, and one published in The Sunday Times.

Press Quotes

'Inimitably filthy, achingly funny... Bradwell is one of the most colourful figures in theatre today'

Ian Herbert - The Stage

'Both a history and a pointer to the future of theatre, written by one of its most courageous and effective champions'

Theatres Magazine

'Funny and rude, bloody-minded and undervalued, much like the theatre to which he has given his all'

Times Literary Supplement
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback, 336 pages ISBN: 9781854595386Publication Date:
8 Jul 2010
Size: 217mm x 138mm£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
EPUB, 336 pages ISBN: 9781788502252Publication Date:
22 Aug 2019
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)

Also by Mike Bradwell:

A Bed of Roses
Inventing the Truth: Devising and Directing for the Theatre

Go to author page...

Similar Titles
The first, authorised biography of the anarchic comic genius, much cherished for his performances on stage and screen...
A lifetime of polemical writing about the theatre from the socialist playwright, director, producer and founder of 7:...
A truthful, personal and insightful exploration of the state of arts funding and carrying on in the face of adversity...
A fascinating account of the making of the Monty Python TV and stage shows, films, books and albums, drawn from Micha...
A practical guide to creating successful immersive theatre productions, by an experienced theatre-maker and practitio...
An alternative autobiography of the well-loved actor and man of the theatre, winner of the Sheridan Morley Prize for...