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Tim Crouch in Truth's a Dog Must to Kennel

Photo Stuart Armitt

Commissioned and produced by the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

Premiered Lyceum Studio Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, August 2022

Written and performed by Tim Crouch

Co-directed by Karl James and Andy Smith

Music and Sound design by Pippa Murphy

Lighting design by Laura Hawkins

Not here but in another place.
In another place the country is being torn apart.
Not in this place, remember, but in that other place the leader has lost control, people are being killed, someone is blinded.
But not here, you understand, not in this theatre here. Not this one.
Here, everything’s just fine. Everything’s hilarious.

The Fool leaves King Lear before the blinding. Before the killing starts. Before the ice-creams in the interval.

In this new solo work, Tim Crouch draws on ideas of virtual reality to send the Fool back to the future of the play that he left. Back to a world without moral leadership, or integrity; a world where wealth covers vice; where the poor are dehumanised; where the jokes fall flat; where live art has become the privilege of the few.

Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel is a daringly unaccommodated piece of theatre that switches between scathingly funny stand-up and an audacious act of collective imagining. It is an adult take on the atomised world we live in now. King Lear meets stand-up meets the metaverse.

Tim Crouch says: I think this is the closest I can get to writing about the last two years – the loss of life, the wrecking of families, the abuse of power, the digital encroachment of live theatre, the decimation of our industry. It’s been hard to reconnect with the idea of live performance and to re-establish my conviction in its future. Sorry if this sounds like a downer; it’s very playful and there are jokes.

Described by Joyce McMillan as Utterly urgent and compelling, Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel won a Scotsman 2022 Fringe First.


Tim Crouch in Truth's a Dog Must to Kennel

Photo Stuart Armitt


Crouch is a master storyteller for our times.
★★★★★ The Scotsman

…the precision and intensity of performance erupting, ever so gracefully, into a mastery of storytelling.
★★★★ The Reviews Hub

Exit. Mind blown.
★★★★★ All Edinburgh Theatre

It is as if we ourselves are at the turbulent centre of King Lear.
★★★★ The Guardian

An act of imagination in a world undone.
★★★★ The Stage

An emotive, filthy love letter to the almost-lost art of being in a room, together.
★★★★ Financial Times

It’s all very interesting but I’m not sure it’s ever quite formally thrilling enough to illicit a response stronger than ‘ooh, isn’t that Tim Crouch clever?
★★★ Time Out


Tim Crouch in Truth's a Dog Must to Kennel

Photo Stuart Armitt