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the International Travelling
Theatre Compagny
45 years old !

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Irish Tour 2017

Following an enthusiastic reception for our visit to the Emerald Isle in 2016 we are delighted to be returning in August-September this year. Catch us at Cootehill Arts Festival, Electric Picnic, Ballintubbert House, Clifden Arts Festival, Glór, Ennis, Black Box […]


Who we are ?

The Company

Footsbarn Travelling Theatre is one of the world’s leading touring companies performing for the most part in one of its circus big tops but also in theatres thoughout the world.

Renowned for its exciting adaptations of classics such as Shakespeare & Moliere transcending the barrier of language with its unique blend of visual theatre, music and magic.

In thirty five years, Footsbarn has produced nearly 60 plays and travelled to the six Continents and is a truley multi-national group. The actors possess a multiplicity of talents and theatrical techniques all of which inhabit and enrich every performance.

Footsbarn began life in cornwall in 1971 rehearsing in a barn owned by the Foot family, hence its name. In 1984 the company left Britain to take its brand of theatre to international audiences and remained without a base until 1991 when a farm was purchased in central France, La Chaussée. Today its base is both a fully equipped production centre complete with workshops, rehearsal space, office and studios but also a centre for education. Over the last 15 years Footsbarn has organised and staged numerous workshops, which have been taught by both actors from the company as well as proffessionals associated with Footsbarn.

“Footsbarn’s influence can be detected in a subsequent generation of companies. Without Footsbarn, we may never have had Complicite, Kneehigh and Told by an Idiot : companies which reach out across the footlights and embrace the audience, recognising that circus and clowning are not dirty words.” The Guardian, Lyn Gardner

The Company

The Tuileries garden in Paris

The Company
The Company
The Company
The Company
The Company

The Tents

A company, two tents

Footsbarn has two Big Top style tents available for touring, the larger tent seats 450 and the smaller seats 350.

Bar Tent

In addition there is a smaller foyer tent which includes a bar. This tent can also be used to display works of art and is the scene of many a post show party !

Available to hire

All the Footsbarn tents are available to hire for weddings, parties and festivals. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your event : +33 (0)4 70 06 84 84.

And of course if you are booking the company to perform in your festival, then the tent can be available as additional venue for other performances, talks and workshops.

Download more information about the tents here : Footsbarn-TENTS

The Tents
The Tents
The Tents

Inside the Tent during a show

The Tents

Festive atmosphere in the tent bar !

La Chaussée – Place of residence

La Chaussée has been the home of Footsbarn Travelling Theatre for over 20 years.

At La Chaussée we have studios,  workshops and office for our administration. The old farm is made up of 6 buildings (rehearsal space workshops for set building, props, costumes and masks ; music studio ; storage space ; restaurant ; bedrooms ; dormitories ; kitchen, tent sites to put up our big tops and also a camp site for our caravans). Our base allows us to rehearse and  create new shows. Situated in Maillet in the centre of France, very close to Montluçon, just a couple of kilometres from the picturesque village of Herisson, La Chaussée has been transformed over the years from a farm to a centre for aritistic creation and training, a place full of energy and new ideas.

Today we organise international workshops every year, where people of all nationalities and specialities mix (we accept both professionals and amateurs), which stimulate and enrich everyone. Every 2 years we hold a three week summer school led by our theatre company, for 30 participants who come to create and experience theatre. Jasmin Martorell, Mas  Soegeng, Heinzi Lorenzen, Nola Rae, Patrick Sims et Josephine Biereye, Julian Furtuna, Pierre Byland, Tapa Sudana, François Lecoq…. Are among those who have taught in the past (singing, theatre, movement, puppetry, clowning and mime) along side the Footsbarn company members

La Chaussée regularly hosts performances from the four corners of the world, but also local ones such as le petit Théâtre Dakoté, Monique Brun, Le P’tit Bastringue, Les Passagers du Vent, la compagnie de Pierre Meunier, Entre deux Caisses, les Antiliaclastes Marionnettes, Jean-Pierre Estournet, nomadic photographer. In over 20 years at La Chaussée, Footsbarn have created 18 shows, 700 people have participated in 68 workshops, 4 local tours of the Region of Auvergne, festivals in celebration of Footsbarn’s anniversaries had an audience of over 15,000 people (a dozen big tops with 35 companies who cam from 12 different countries).

A cinema allows us to have a film society.

Cultural Centre working with regional organisations.

To strengthen our base we aim to develop the relationships we have with our existing partners. This is the case with the Cube in Hérisson, but this should also be with other artist residencies in the region and also by twinning with cities internationally.

La Chaussée - Place of residence

The main court

La Chaussée - Place of residence

La Chaussée restaurant

La Chaussée - Place of residence

Small studio

La Chaussée - Place of residence

Big studio

La Chaussée - Place of residence

Main building (office)

La Chaussée - Place of residence


Irish Tour 2017

Irish Tour 2017 de

première représentation : 13 January 2017
dernière représentation : 30 December 2017

Footsbarn is a theatre festival unto itself, a wonderfully eclectic mixture of styles and influences, of nationalities and cultures, all melded into a seamlessly fluid torrent of pure theatre….”
Irish Times , Fintan O’Toole

Footsbarn Travelling Theatre’s distinctive trucks are once more on the road heading across the sea to Ireland.  We are bringing three shows (and will be creating two more in situ at two very special locations).  Come and join us and experience the magic mayhem and joy of an evening with Footsbarn. 

Born in Cornwall in 1971 and based in France since 1989, this ever evolving troupe of actors, musicians and visual artists from all over the world have traversed the globe with their unique and joyful performances.  Wherever they have wandered, this legendary travelling company has intoxicated audiences with their imagination, warmth, humour and vitality.

What you can see ?

Cuckoo’s Nest

Following a successful sellout run at Kilkenny Festival this powerful and moving story will be told again at Cootehill Arts Festival, Black Box Theatre, Galway and The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow [link to each website]




Mingling with Molière – new for 2017 ! 

p0073719 BD

The Forced Marriage and The Jealousy of the Barbouillé (Besmirched).

Footsbarn return to their much-loved Molière to combine two of his one-act farces into a beguiling tragi-comic tale.


The story starts with our hero experiencing doubt about his forthcoming marriage to a much younger woman, thus begins an odyssey where he tries to seek advice from increasingly unlikely and bizarre sources encountering absurd philosophers, mysterious gypsies and some very violent relatives of the bride to be along the way.  His journey only leads to confusion as the unwilling groom completes his nuptials at the end of this masterpiece, so frank and cruel, that offers an incredible palette of colourful characters and tragicomic situations.


The sequel to this story sees the hero’ worst fears realised and we meet him once more deliberating about how to punish his flirtatious and disobedient wife. Again he is unable to find anyone who can offer useful advice and so he resorts to his own methods with hilarious consequences.  The essence of this story is deception, trickery and ruse – fertile ground for the talents of Footsbarn’s versatile performers.

See this show at Cootehill Arts Festival and Clifden Arts Festival


Electric Picnic 

Following a successful visit in 2016, Footsbarn will once again be tethering their wagons in the Hazel Wood with Magic & Madness a new series of specially commissioned performances that will enchant and delight.  Music, drama, ritual, puppets and masks – let this motley international crew of world-travelled artistes spirit you away to the woods and prepare to be enthralled – you never know who you might meet.


Exit Pursued by An Ass

We return to the wonderful grounds of Balintubbert House in Co Laois to create another unique extravaganza – join us to enjoy snatches of our best bits along with food drink and music in these truly magical gardens.


Bottom’s Dream – Irish Premiere


See this show at Clifden Arts Festival and Glór, Ennis, Co Clare.


‡‡‡ Full Playing Schedule


Cootehill Arts Festival

Wed 23rd & Thurs 24th August Cuckoo’s Nest

Sat 26th & Sun 27th August Mingling with Moliere


Electric Picnic, Stradbally

Fri 1st – Sun 3rd September [Sold Out]


Gardens of Ballintubbert House

Sat 9th September - Exit Pursued By An Ass


Clifden Arts Festival

Tues 19th September Bottom’s Dream

Weds 20th September Mingling with Moliere


Glór, Ennis

Weds 27th September - Bottom’s Dream


Black Box Theatre, Galway

Sun 1st October Cuckoo’s Nest

Mon 2nd October Cuckoo’s Nest

Tues 3rd October Cuckoo’s Nest

Weds 4th October Cuckoo’s Nest


The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow

Sat 7th October Cuckoo’s Nest



Irish Tour 2017

Shakespeare Celebration

Shakespeare Celebration

première représentation 29 May 2015
dernière représentation : 31 December 2017

“With gigantic grotesque puppets and sketches that seem to range in influence from Monty Python to Samuel Beckett, this is a bill that will tickle the fancy of first-timers to the Globe and excite the imagination of fully paid-up Bard-botherers.”  Independent review of Shakespeare’s Christmas Cracker

Shakespeare has always been a huge source of inspiration to Footsbarn.  No-one else has observed so closely the mechanisms of human passion, from sublime love to hatred and jealousy, from absolute power and ambition to lowly servility

From the Machiavellian machinations of the court to the bacchanalian celebrations of a country wedding, from the forest of Arden to the shores of Bohemia, mankind, nature, the cosmos, all are represented in their wonderful complexity.

 “Juliet on a high wire, Ophelia in a waterfall – Footsbarn’s riotous take on Shakespeare has toured the globe for 25 years. Now they’re coming home.” The Guardian, Lyn Gardner

Following the success of three commissions by London’s Globe Theatre, Footsbarn are continuing to mine this unparalleled repertoire in order to create a Shakespearean cabaret filled with humour and gravitas, where anything is possible.

A three headed Shakespeare, a casting of male Juliets, Falstaff and his ribald drinking partners, the seven ages of man, to see is to believe!

“They are genuinely bananas – that’s why I love them so much,” Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic, Director, The Globe Theatre


Created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, The Incomplete Works is an evening full of surprises and magic, emotion and joy.  A unique tribute to the undisputed master of English Theatre, Footsbarn’s latest voyage into the world of the Bard is not to be missed.

Shakespeare Celebration
Shakespeare Celebration
Shakespeare Celebration
Shakespeare Celebration

Cuckoo’s Nest

Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

first performance : 04 July 2014
last performance : 30 December 2018

Cuckoo’s Nest based on the novel by Ken Kesey

First performance : 04 July 2014
Last performance : 30 december 2018

“When you lose your laugh, you lose your footing” - Ken Kesey


Renowned for their vivacious and subversive versions of Shakespeare, Footsbarn have turned their attention to the masterpiece of counterculture One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  Many will remember Jack Nicholson’s feisty performance in Milo Forman’s classic film, no less memorable is Footsbarn’s Cuckoo’s Nest ; a very different adaptation of this literary and big screen classic, combining the original book’s powerful narrative with the world-leading company’s uniquely comic slant and mastery of puppetry and masks.

“Artistic director, Paddy Hayter, describes the company’s latest show as ‘freely inspired by Ken Kesey’. I’d like to think the late author would have been delighted by the heady mix of humour, song, poetry, puppetry, physical theatre and mime employed by Footsbarn to bring his story to life on stage.”  Western Morning News

Set in a psychiatric hospital, a group of patients live under the tyrannical rule of a despotic nurse.  Exercising total control over both inmates and staff, Nurse Ratchet leads a brutal regime that exploits the weaknesses of the patients in her care.  With power over time itself, she floods the ward with a “fog” that numbs the senses.

Into this purgatory steps a patient unlike any other.

McMurphy : a charismatic, life-loving rogue, who will challenge the Nurse’s hold with his insolence and his laughter.  No-one knows why he has been committed – is he even insane?

The big Nurse is on her guard, the delicate balance she has spent years putting in place is under threat.  In her mini kingdom she has absolute rule, surrounded by a court of fawning aides who take out their own frustrations on the patients.

The Indian chief knows it.  Passing himself off as deaf and dumb, he sees and hears everything as he patiently sweeps the hospital corridors.

A battle of wits begins as McMurphy’s irrepressible life force sweeps through the ward carrying even the chief along with him towards a denouement worthy of any greek tragedy.

In an epoch where the very fibre of our individuality is being eroded by ever invasive technology and surveillance, it is good to revisit Ken Kesey’s story.  A denunciation of all forms of dictatorship, an ode to freedom and friendship, to the right to be different, it is more poignant than ever today.

Cuckoo's Nest

Ratchet et Harding

Cuckoo's Nest

Ambiance Hôpital

Cuckoo's Nest
Cuckoo's Nest
Cuckoo's Nest
Cuckoo's Nest

Tempête indienne

Tempête indienne de William Shakespeare

première représentation : 05 February 2012
dernière représentation : 30 November 2013

Créé dans le cadre de GUIMARÃES 2012 (Capitale Européenne de la Culture)

“What is the deeper meaning of your performance ?”
Question posée par un spectateur du Kerala lors de la première tournée indienne du Footsbarn en 1994

SHAKESPEARE, le poète cosmique et universel, a, depuis les premiers jours de la compagnie, été sa plus grande source d’inspiration et de matériau pour créer des spectacles accessibles à un public de tous âges, cultures et classes sociales.

L’INDE : La terre où s’enracinent 2.000 ans de poèmes épiques et de traditions théâtrales. Quel meilleur partenaire pour Shakespeare ?

La connexion entre le Footsbarn et l’Inde date de 1994. 18 ans plus tard, le Barde nous réunit à nouveau. Nous voulions parler du Kerala, de la mer, des pêcheurs, de la magie, des esprits, mais aussi du Footsbarn, de ses voyages et de sa relation quasi-charnelle au Théâtre. Il nous fallait la Tempête.

Située nulle part et jamais – ou bien est-ce à la fois partout et toujours – cette pièce inquiétante nous parle de puissance et de déclin, de pardon et de regrets, de bêtise et de sagesse, de rêves et d’ambitions, de soumission et de révolte, et transporte dans son sillage un bestiaire d’exclus, tenus de se partager un monde où la musique règle le pas. Poésie au delà du langage…
Nous avons vu dans l’air de cette pièce une histoire que nous pourrions raconter, danser et chanter aux hommes de deux continents aussi semblables et différents que l’Inde et l’Europe.

Tempête indienne
Tempête indienne

Aperçu des spectacles

40 ans... C'est pas facile !

de Footsbarn travelling Theatre

première représentation : 28/11/2011
dernière représentation : 11/12/2011

Tempête indienne

de William Shakespeare

première représentation : 05/02/2012
dernière représentation : 30/11/2013

Cuckoo's Nest

by Ken Kesey

first performance : 04/07/2014
last performance : 30/12/2018

Shakespeare Celebration

première représentation 29/05/2015
dernière représentation : 31/12/2017

Irish Tour 2017


première représentation : 13/01/2017
dernière représentation : 30/12/2017


Hérisson en fête 2017

Le Footsbarn Travelling Theatre, très attaché au théâtre de proximité, renouvelle l’organisation de son festival «Hérisson en fête» : il se tiendra cette année les 4, 5 et 6 août 2017.

Encore une fois, le festival « Hérisson en fête » célèbre les arts dans le charmant village de Hérisson avec ses habitants, perpétuant ainsi le rendez-vous initié il y a plus de 40 ans par les Fédérés.

Chaque année, ce rendez-vous réunit des artistes divers parmi un public toujours plus nombreux et fidèle. La recette de ce succès ? Une programmation audacieuse et renouvelée, des artistes investis et passionnés, des équipes motivées.

Ce festival s’inscrit dans une ambiance conviviale qui crée des occasions de rencontres entre les artistes et les publics en les faisant voyager à travers un paysage artistique varié, populaire et cosmopolite où se mêlent le théâtre, la musique, le chant, ou encore la poésie. Découvrez également les animations !

La programmation 2017 nous réserve de belles rencontres… Vous ne serez pas déçus !

Pour cette nouvelle édition, le Footsbarn a voulu que le public soit au plus proche des acteurs du festival, effaçant alors la barrière artiste/public et pratiquer le théâtre de proximité qui lui est cher. C’est ainsi que comédiens, musiciens, enfants et adultes se côtoieront sans limite pour rendre cette fête joyeuse en vivant des moments qui ne se partagent qu’à Hérisson.

Accédez à la programmation 2017 >>>Dépliant HEF 17

Attention modification, le jeudi 3 aout dès 20h, SOIREE MUSICALE au bar // Soirée Théâtrale annulée //

Dépliant HEF 17

Dépliant HEF 172

Festival “Hérisson en Fête” 2017 – Quais de l’Aumance – 03190 HERISSON


Pour vous y rendre :

* Depuis Montluçon (25km) :
Prendre D2144 direction Estivareilles – puis D3 (à Estivareilles) direction Cosne d’Allier/Hérisson – Prendre à gauche “Hérisson”.

* Depuis Cosne d’Allier (11km) :
Prendre D11 direction Vallon-En-Sully – puis à droite “Hérisson”

Informations et réservations : 04 70 06 84 84
Flore Monnier – flore@footsbarn.com










Hérisson en fête 2017

Cie Cabaïlando, “Duelo Tango” - © Béatrice Biewer

Hérisson en fête 2017

Théâtre Guignol Lyonnais du Parc de Choisy

Hérisson en fête 2017

Cie La volga, “Kanpaï”

Hérisson en fête 2017

Cie La Volga, “Marcelle Marcel”

Hérisson en fête 2017

Collectif La Bohème

Hérisson en fête 2017

Cie du P’tit Bastringue, “Fait Divers”


du Monday 19 au Tuesday 20 June 2017

11h00 / 19h00

Shakespeare Celebration
Nid de Coucou
Švandovo théâtre à Smíchov, Prague

Footsbarn Theatre à Prague

Friday 07 July 2017


Festival Remp'Arts
En plein air
Château de la Mothe, Louroux-Hodement

Retouche Molière

du Saturday 15 au Sunday 16 July 2017


15/07 Retouche Molière
16/07 Nid de Coucou
Sous chapiteau
Devant le CNCS à Moulins

Footsbarn à Moulins

Sunday 06 August 2017


Festival Hérisson en fête

Retouche Molière

du Wednesday 19 au Friday 04 August 2017

Ecole d'été au Footsbarn Theatre
Stage de théâtre sur le thème du Conte d'Hiver de W. Shakespeare

Ecole d’été

Our history









Footsbarn Theatre
La Chaussée – 03190 Maillet
tel: +33 (0)4 7006 8484


Paddy Hayter
Direction artistique


Kate Tyrrell
Tournées en Grande-Bretagne


Tony Wadham
Tony Wadham
Vincent Gracieux
Vincent Gracieux
Paddy Hayter
directeur artistique et comédien
Paddy Hayter
Haris Resic
comédien musicien
Haris Resic
Dominique Prié
Dominique Prié
Frédéricka Hayter
Scénographie, masques et accessoire
Frédéricka Hayter
Kate Tyrrell
GB Touring Enquiries
Kate Tyrrell
Naomi Canard
Naomi Canard
André Júlio Teixeira
André Júlio Teixeira
Thierry Meslin
régisseur de La Chaussée
Thierry Meslin
Sophie Barraud
direction technique
Sophie Barraud