A Company of Fools

A Company of Fools

My first contact with A Company of Fools began in 1994 when I joined their production of ‘A Comedy of Errors’. Told by the director that he grew up with Looney Tunes and slapstick humour explained alot about the direction of the production and indeed, the direction of the Fools. The Fools are trained professionals–their enthusiasm and love for Shakespeare, theatre, fun, and comedy makes them a popular choice for schools and festivals. They have evolved into a not-for-profit corporation and a registered charity that is active in the field of education and works closely with elementary and high school students.


(Scott Florence, Artistic Director)

“The biggest challenge is juggling Shakespeare’s language with the world of today, sidestepping the references and allusions that no longer have any cultural resonance, and ensuring that the vibrancy of the original work doesn’t get dimmed by the differences between his world and time, and ours.

The greatest reward is when people thank us for “translating the work into REAL English”–because of course, we haven’t altered Shakespeare’s text, we’ve just performed it in a way that transcends the barrier of words.”

A Company of Fools, Bringing Shakespeare to life in Canada since 1990!

Bringing Shakespeare to life in Canada since 1990!



“Lord, what Fools these mortals be, but darn funny Fools they be.” – Caroline Phillips, Ottawa Citizen, January 10, 2011

The Fools have been around since 1990, founded by two Ottawa University graduates. They were inspired by the Elizabethan players that entertained audiences outdoors and at the Globe theatre. These are NOT pretentious, high-browed Shakespearean actors.

A Company of Fools has a reputation for being a highly physical troupe that does interactive shows indoors and out. I like to think that they bring Shakespeare to the masses the way Shakespeare originally intended. Their entertaining shows are based on and inspired by William Shakespeare’s writings, but use imaginative techniques such as clowning, physical theatre, mask and puppetry while retaining the classical text.


The Merry Wives of Windsor (July 3 – August 17, 2013)

This adaptation celebrates their tenth anniversary of doing Torchlight Shakespeare.  A series that takes place in parks across Ottawa.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket and don’t forget the bug spray! Expect a pass-the-hat donation. This year’s production promises to be (as usual) a funny one!

Hal & Falstaff – various venues (September 2 – 22, 2013)

“An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 with bits of Henry V, delivered with battles, sword fights, kissing and quaffing – along with some mighty fine speeches.”  Hal & Falstaff will be at three different indoor venues.  From September 2-7 at the Gladstone Theatre, from September 9 – 15 at the Shenkman Richcraft Studio, and finally September 16-22 at Centrepointe Studio.


Hire a Fool in colourful costume to deliver a sonnet to a loved one. The Fools have been delivering sonnets for nearly a decade, usually on Valentine’s Day. Typical “sonnet patrol” on Valentine’s Day will see a delivery of 20 to 100 sonnets by the Fools. Popular sonnets include: 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lvely and more temperate), 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments/Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds). These two are most often requested, while other lovers request Sonnet 2 or Sonnet 43. The sonnets are delivered with a parchment scroll and small package of sweets. The Fools are also available for hire for workshops, corporate events, and private parties.


www.fools.ca (opens in a new window)

Return from A Company of Fools to Ottawa Secrets

Return from A Company of Fools to Ottawa Home Page

Did you like this? Share it: