The Theatre of Mistakes

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The Theatre of Mistakes 1970s-1980s, London was a performance art company. The group is known for its live performance art that was built around interactive games and workshops.[1] The work was minimalist, structuralist, and conceptual.


The performance group was formed in the early 1970s in London. It emerged out of a series of workshops, which were oriented towards games-based exercises.[2] One of the earliest outcomes that shaped the developmental trajectory of the Theater of Mistakes was a performance at Ascham Street in Kentish Town, which involved its residents as well as the environs of the location. The residents' furniture, for instance, were relocated on the streets for the exhibition. From then on, the group was able to develop a pioneering structured performance art that included architecture, choreography, and poetry.[3]

The concept of the performance often included several elements. It would, for instance, open with a "Free Session" and would continue with performance workshops on weekdays. Each Friday and Saturday evenings, the group performed one of its works such as Going (1977),[4] which involved a cast of five playing out mannerisms of departure in five choreographed acts.[5]


While it garnered significant attention in the UK, the Theater of Mistakes did not enjoy the level of acclaim it attained overseas. One account stated that in Italy, a theater manager doubled their fee due to their popularity.[6]

Selected Performances[edit]

1976 Serpentine Gallery, London, 'Homage to Pietro Longhi'
Stedelijk Museum; Amsterdam. 'The Ascent of the Stedelijk'
1977 Hayward Gallery, London. 'A Waterfall' 48 performances for the Hayward Annual.
Biennale de Paris, Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris -'Going' FIAC, Grand Palais, Paris - ‘Going’.
1978 Student Cultural Centre, Belgrade -'Two Freedoms' and 'Going'
Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol -'Going', 'Waterfall 3'.
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York -'Waterfall 6' State Penitentiary and University, Pittsburgh, - 'Going'
Theatre for the New City, New York -'Going'
1979 Forum fur Actuelle Kunst, Innsbruck -'Orpheus and Hermes'
1980 Brighton Theatre Festival -'Orpheus and Hermes',
University Theatre Festival, Brescia, and Salle Polyvalente, Ferrara -
'Duet for Orpheus and Hermes' and 'Homage to Morandi'
Tour of Holland -'Homage to Morandi'
1981Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre, London - 'Homage to Morandi' 'Going'; 'Table Move 1'; and 'The Ninth Method'.
Tour of Belgium -'Homage to Morandi'. Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin -'Homage to Morandi' and 'Table Move 1'

Selected Reviews and Essays[edit]

Performance texts by The Theatre of Mistakes[edit]

Homage to Morandi – Grey Suit Editions, 2006.
The book of the performance by The Theatre of Mistakes. ISBN 1-903006-01-5
Going – Grey Suit Editions 2007.
The book of the performance by The Theatre of Mistakes ISBN 1-903006-03-1


  1. ^ "In Case There is a Reason: The Theatre of Mistakes". Time Out London. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  2. ^ "Raven Row". Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  3. ^ "Raven Row". Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  4. ^ "The Theatre of Mistakes". Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  5. ^ "Raven Row". Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  6. ^ "Mistakes Made Mutually: The Theatre of Mistakes". hotel alphabet art writings. 2015-08-30. Retrieved 2018-06-12.