Love and Not Knowing


Edited by Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca and Luke Pell

Published by Performance Research Books 2024. Soft cover, 304 pages, colour & b&w images.

RRP £35.00. CPR Bookshop price £30.00

SPECIAL OFFER JULY/AUGUST 2024: Purchase Love and Not Knowing together with the previous Fevered Sleep title Invisible Things for £40.00 plus p&p, a combined saving of £7.99.

To take advantage of this offer, add both titles to the cart and add ‘Fevered Sleep’ to the coupon box

SKU: 9781906499204 Category:


Love and Not Knowing celebrates more than twenty-five years of the work of Fevered Sleep, the UK-based performance company founded and led by co-artistic directors Sam Butler and David Harradine.

Fevered Sleep creates projects for adults and children that manifest in multiple forms and are as likely to be located in a gallery, a care home or a shopping centre as in a theatre. Nothing that Fevered Sleep does is ever just one thing: what might start out as an installation by day turns to a performance at night – a live event then remembered in another form, like a book. An improvised dance, over many hours, creates a photographic exhibition. A theatre work is re-imagined for screen. A question, a frustration, a feeling, leads to a gathering with more people (and sometimes animals), more questions, on streets, around a market stall, in a veterinary school, by the sea or in a forest. Love and Not Knowing is therefore not only about Fevered Sleep but is – in itself – a work by Fevered Sleep, a manifestation of Fevered Sleep and a part of the ever-evolving, open whole that is Fevered Sleep.

The six chapters of the book bring together a range of different voices from people with differing relationships to and perspectives on the company and their processes. They draw upon distinct memories, moments and projects to explore core themes that have continued to run through Fevered Sleep’s work over time: On Place, On Young People and Children, On Animals, On Care, On Being Together and On Love and Not Knowing. The result is a constellation of diverse voices, practices and experiences that illuminate the deeply researchful – and deeply felt – nature of the company’s work. Their reflections offer the reader a rich tapestry of material that unfolds Fevered Sleep’s practice and the ways in which their projects open out new ways of seeing and being in the world, with curiosity, compassion, care, love and not knowing.

Fevered Sleep makes work that matters, work that redefines how we make theatre with (rather than for) audiences. Its participatory model provides ways of thinking about how theatre operates and the role it occupies in an ever-changing society. This book offers a remarkable insight into what Fevered Sleep does and how they do it, from a range of participants and partners. It’s a window into the company’s work and a series of reflections on their process of making – thoughtful, perceptive and original.’

Professor Maria Delgado – Vice Principal, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

From inviting the weather to take over a house in North Wales, to opening a shop for those who are grieving, Fevered Sleep’s work has always involved extraordinary leaps of the imagination, and questions as to the nature of perception. It is a joy to open a book that asks big questions inspired by this leap-taking work, and that asks those questions in such a joyous, open way. Fevered Sleep’s creations have always asked what we choose to notice and why – inviting us to pay attention differently and to different things. This book continues the company’s work – surprising us in how it asks, how it observes and what it brings to light.’

John McGrath – Artistic Director, Factory International



Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca and Luke Pell

‘Because we’ve never arrived’
Sam Butler and David Harradine in conversation with Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca

Gravity and Time
A project in seven parts, created by Sam Butler and David Harradine


different skies

(on PLACE)

Strange Constellations: Five observations on time, change and attention in Fevered Sleep
Synne Behrndt and Wahida Khandker

Reflections on Ecology, Nature and Climate in the Work of Fevered Sleep
Ruth Little and Lisa Woynarski

On Place: A response
Hansjörg Schmidt, Laura Cubitt and Matt Burman


why can’t you see me?


The Moon on a Pillow: Play, creativity and risk in Fevered Sleep’s theatre for children
Lyn Gardner and Louisa Davies

Growing Sideways: Collaborating with teenagers
Adele Senior with Sorrel Barnes and Zina Abaraonye

On Young People and Children: A response
Zaynah Alom, Sarah Carvalho, Maya Demetriou, Pebbles Doughty-White, Orlando Gangbo, Emre Gunes, Simeon Ndu-Seba, Stella Nodine, Angel Roach, Reggie Roberts, Teah Tournier Winchester, Minnie Trottford and Marcel Winter, Mariam Rezaei, Eddie Nixon

Learning from Each Other: A reflection on Men & Girls Dance
A conversation between Nathan Goodman, Sakeema Crook and Bakani Pick-Up with Luke Pell


a pig, a dog and a polar bear


Performing Knowledge as Interspecies Encounter: Sheep Pig Goat and the ethics of attention
Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca with Akshay Sharma

One an(d)Other: Two reflections on Sheep Pig Goat
Alan McElligott and Ruth Little


making space for each other

(on CARE)

Being in Touch: Reaching through and with the work of Fevered Sleep
Luke Pell and Daniela Perazzo

‘This is what the world needs’. This Grief Thing
Natalie Chen, Linda Machin, Will Daddario and Joanne Zerdy

On Care: A response
Kip Johnson, Petra Söör and Catherine Long


talking, laughing, thinking, crying


There is no Formula: What happens when you place participation at the heart of your work?
Susanne Burns with artists, producers, presenters, audiences, participants, academics, commentators and funders

It’s OK for Me to Do That
A conversation between Grief Gathering hosts Dan de la Motte, Deepa Shastri and Lou Robbins with Luke Pell

On Being Together: A response
Rose Kigwana, Luke Pell and Ushi Bagga


on love and not knowing

Paying Attention or, if You’re Up for That, You’re Going to Have Some Remarkable Adventures: Producing Fevered Sleep
A conversation between Sophie Eustace, Louise Blackwell and Louisa Borg- Costanzi Potts with Luke Pell

On Love and Not Knowing: A response
Rosie Stanbury, Paul Russ and Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark

Contributors’ Biographies
Select Bibliography

Additional information

Weight 1.04 kg