A week in the life of Napoleon Disrobed

We get a look inside Told by an Idiot’s latest historical caper

Paul Hunter and Ayesha Antoine
Paul Hunter and Ayesha Antoine
© Manuel Harlan

What if Napoleon didn't die? That's the question at the heart of the new comedy Napoleon Disrobed, currently running at Theatre Royal Plymouth ahead of a UK tour and a run at London's Arcola Theatre. Produced by theatre company Told by an Idiot and directed by Kathryn Hunter, the show is based on the novel The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys.

The show stars Paul Hunter (Told by an Idiot artistic director) and Ayesha Antoine (Red Velvet), with Hunter assuming the mantle of the historical figure, while Antoine covers all the other characters throughout the show. We caught up with the company to see how their opening week in Plymouth was going.

Keen and full of caffeine

© Manuel Harlan

ND: "Wide awakey – let’s get to it! Ayesha Antoine (after her first cup of coffee) having a bit of a stretch."

Making a play by the bay

ND: "Not a bad spot to have an Idiot’s staff meeting …the calm before the …"

Napoleon dissected

© Manuel Harlan

ND: "Rehearsals gearing up to the first preview at Theatre Royal Plymouth …Paul is holding onto that thought…"

Napoleon re-robed

© Ragga Dahl Johansen

ND: "Final costume decisions…"

A healthy diet

ND: "First preview cards and presents, cupcakes and Plymouth gin, two of our five a day in Devon!"


ND: "First preview, curtain up and audience awaits the comic alternative history of what could have happened to Napoleon."

Job well done!

ND: "Full Company out enjoying the nightlife in downtown Plymouth."