Who We Are

Vision

A society where the arts genuinely include everyone. 

Mission

Wonder Fools tells untold stories that need to be heard throughout Scotland and beyond. We create exceptional arts experiences relevant to the communities we work with. Our belief is that theatre is for everyone. We work with young people and communities, on stage and off, as collaborators, participants, and audience members to ensure their stories are heard and their potential is realised. 

What we do: 

Established in 2017: our work takes many forms, shapes, and sizes; whichever is most suited to the stories we are telling. We have produced audio plays, short films, interactive installations, and an international participatory project, as well as touring productions performed in rural town halls and on Scotland’s most famous stages reaching over 60,000 people in 17 countries across 5 continents.

All our work is made with the communities in which we perform, ensuring that it is relevant, authentic, and accessible to them, whilst amplifying their voices through telling their stories to new audiences. We believe in young people, and all of our work comes with accompanying creative engagement programmes to engage new audiences and empower them to tell their own stories too.

Wonder Fools have created 7 productions working with a range of communities. Our main methods of working are co-creation and co-design involving participants, including young people, group leaders, and community members, in the development of our projects. This approach allows us to tailor our work to their needs, interests, and preferences, ensuring that our programs are both relevant and engaging.

Our evolving model of practice is continually shaped by the participants we work with, which helps us stay responsive to their evolving needs and interests. We offer career development opportunities to young people from across Scotland including paid apprenticeships, workshops, and have a youth board made up of 20 young people who guide our work from idea to final performance.

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Since 2020 alone our work has reached: 

30,803 digital audiences

8080 live audiences

1300 workshop attendees

8747 Positive Stories for Negative Times participants

17 countries

How we work and what’s important to us…

TELL STORIES – listen, share and celebrate 

BE CUROUS – ask questions, keep learning, think differently

AIM HIGH – be ambitious but stay grounded

REACH OUT – collaborate, connect, make friends

HAVE FUN – whether artist or audience, we want everyone to have a good time

KEEP THE DOOR OPEN – let everyone in and put the kettle on

‘I am just so continuously impressed by the heart and values at the core of Wonder Fools, everyone who is a part of WF or works with you has been so lovely, every production and project seems to hang on questions of story and accessibility, and I can’t think of a single other company whose name is so synonymous with fun and hope. No one else is doing theatre like you guys and the impact you have in people’s lives is huge. Just, thank you.’ – Sophie, Wonder Fools Youth Board Member, 2021

“One of the most vibrant young companies to emerge onto the Scottish theatre scene in recent years” – The Scotsman, 2021

“Surely one of Scotland’s best new companies.” – David Byrne (New Diorama/ Royal Court), 2018

“Fiercely curious Glasgow-based Wonder Fools company” – The Herald

Core Team

Co-Founder – Robbie Gordon (he/him)

Robbie Gordon is a theatre-maker born in Prestonpans specialising in making work with and for communities. He trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduating in 2016 with the Drama in Education Award. He is the joint Artistic Director of Wonder Fools alongside Jack Nurse and Creative Engagement Director at the Traverse Theatre.

For Wonder Fools: Writer and Movement Director of 549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War (Wonder Fools in association with the Citizens Theatre); Writer and Movement Director of The Coolidge Effect (Wonder Fools); Writer and Director of McNeill of Tranent: Fastest Man in the World (Wonder Fools): Producer of Meet Jan Black (Ayr Gaiety in association with Wonder Fools); Associate Director of Lampedusa (Citizens Theatre in association with Wonder Fools); Engagement Director And Then Come The Nightjars (Wonder Fools).

Selected creative Engagement work: Project Lead for the Positive Stories for Negative Times Festivals (Wonder Fools, Traverse Theatre, Eden Court, Ayr Gaiety, Perth Theatre in association with Youth Theatre Arts Scotland); Director and Producer of Class Act On Tour (Traverse Theatre); Director of Ayr Gaiety’s Culture Collective projects with Jack Nurse; Co-creator of the New Scottish Companies Programme (Ayr Gaiety); Speaker at the 2022 Edinburgh International Culture Summit at the Scottish Parliament; Producer and Director of Traverse Young Writers 2022 (Traverse Theatre); Creator of Open Your Lugs (Ayr Gaiety); lead artist (Ayrshire) on Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea (National Theatre of Scotland and 1418 NOW); Assistant on Jeremy Deller’s we’re here because we’re here (National Theatre of Scotland and 1418 NOW).

Other selected theatre work: Writer of When the Sun Meets The Sky (Traverse Theatre and Capital Theatres); Co-movement Director of The Enemy (National Theatre of Scotland); Movement Director of Eve Nicol’s Svengali (Pleasance Theatre in association with Pitlochry Festival Theatre); Associate Director of Square Go (Francesca Moody Productions); Movement Director of the Lost Elves (Citizens Theatre in association with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland); Assistant Director for Julius Caesar (Company of Wolves); Assistant Director on Graham McLaren’s Dream On! (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and BBC Symphony Orchestra) and Research Assistant on Locker Room Talk (Traverse Theatre).

www.robbiegordon.org

Co-Founder – Jack Nurse (he/him)

Jack is a director and theatre-maker. He co-founded Glasgow-based theatre company Wonder Fools in 2014.

Jack was recently an Origins Artist with Headlong (2021-2) and is currently Creative Engagement Director at the Ayr Gaiety, Artist in Residence (Creative Development) at the Traverse Theatre and artistic lead of the international participatory project Positive Stories for Negative Times.

Training: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Theatre Studio Directors’ Course.

As Director/Writer:

549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War, The Coolidge Effect (Wonder Fools); When the Sun Meets the Sky (Traverse Theatre/Capital Theatres)

As Director:

And Then Come the Nightjars (Wonder Fools); Lampedusa (Citizens Theatre/Wonder Fools); Meet Jan Black (Wonder Fools/Ayr Gaiety); The Essence of the Job is Speed (Almeida Theatre); Larchview (National Theatre of Scotland); The Lost Elves (Citizens Theatre/RCS); The Mack, The Storm (Play, Pie, Pint/Traverse Theatre).

As Associate/Assistant Director:

Red Dust Road (National Theatre of Scotland/HOME); The Broons (Sell A Door); Dr Dolittle (Music & Lyrics); Oresteia: This Restless House (Citizens Theatre/National Theatre of Scotland), Blackbird (Citizens Theatre); The Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum); Hay Fever (Royal Lyceum/Citizens Theatre).

www.jacknurse.com

Head of Marketing & Communications – Serden Salih (he/him)

Serden is a freelance Marketing Manager with 10 years experience in theatre, film and events. He works with companies and artists to help deliver and manage marketing campaigns for projects across the UK.

Serden works with clients to manage the full marketing mix of their projects from strategic campaign management, developing new/current audiences, liaising with venues, management of social media channels, content creation for both digital and physical media, budgeting marketing spend and grass roots marketing outreach.

He has a background in the creative arts and graduated with an MA in Film, Television and Screen Media from Birkbeck, University of London, this led him to work as a Distribution Manager handling press/marketing for one of the UK’s most recognised LGBT film distributors, Peccadillo Pictures. Projects he has worked on have been seen at various festivals across the UK and internationally including the Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Serden has also worked for Sleeping Warrior Theatre Company on their national tour of Battery Park, ThickSkin’s Blood Harmony and Peak Stuff, he currently creates digital content for the Traverse Theatre and is a Communications Manager for Scottish film organisation CinemaAttic.

He is based in Barcelona but work across the UK.

www.serdensalih.com

WONDER FOOLS YOUTH BOARD

The Wonder Fools Youth Board was created in June 2021 as part of our international participatory project Positive Stories for Negative Times. The youth board is made up of 20 young people who help guide our work to ensure the selected plays are made for young people and have them in mind. This includes working with some of the best UK playwrights to dramaturg their plays from idea to final draft and ensure all seasons of Positive Stories for Negative Times have young people at the heart.

AARON CLASON (Him/Him)
ANNABEL LUNNEY (She/Her)
AIMEE PARRETT (She/Her)
AUDREY DAINES (They/She)
ALEXANDRA FINNIE (She/Her)
CARA SLAVIN (She/Her)
AMI HUME (They/Them)
EILIDH SMITH (She/Her)
ELLEN BRADBURY (She/Her)
EMMA ARBON (She/Her)
GABRIELLE MONICA HUGHES (She/Her)
GENNA ALLAN (She/Her)
HANNAH MCGREGOR (They/Them)
INDRA WILSON (They/Them)
ISLA MACLEAN – She/They/He
KATIE SLATER (She/Her)
LAUREN WEIR (She/Her)
LOUIS GALLAGHER (He/Him)
MANU ABEYSURIYA (Him/They)
MOLLY MCGRATH (She/Her)
MORGAN FERGUSON (She/Her)
MORGAN WOODS (She/Her)
NEVE ADAMS (She/Her)
ROISIN BARRY (She/Her)
TIGER MITCHELL (He/Him)
UYI UTY (Him/They)

Since joining, the youth board alumni have helped shaped 16 new plays and staged two productions, Revolting by Bryony Kimmings at the Traverse Theatre in April 2022 and And The Name For That Is…? by Robert Softley Gale at The Gaiety as part of the Positive Stories Festival in 2023.

ARRON GREECHAN
AVA HICKEY
CATRIONA HILL
CHARLIE MCADAM
DANNY TAGGART
EVE DIXON BATCHELOR
GREGOR MCMILLAN
LEO SHAK
MORNA ROSS
SOPHIE JACOME
VICKY MACRAE

Wonder Fools are governed by a board of trustees, they are:

Maureen Jane Beattie OBE, Jeremy Wyatt, Vikki Doig, Robbie Gordon, Dominic Hill, Anne McCluskey, Gary McNair, Harriet Mould and Jack Nurse.