Diary Of A Madman

Living Pictures


Formed in 1999 by Robert and Elen Bowman, Cardiff-based Living Pictures is effectively an ‘acting lab’ driven by an ongoing desire to find new and engaging ways to develop and perform theatre. Drawing on their immense experience as actors and directors, in careers collectively encompassing employment with some of the UK’s most prominent theatre companies - from Shared Experience, Northern Stage and Sherman Cymru to the Royal Court, National Theatre and RSC - the duo is also committed to the development of other practitioners who share their curiosity about theatrical process: Elen notably being a personal tutor to the likes of Katie Mitchell and Ian Rickson during their time as emerging directorial forces.

Initially choosing Gogol’s farcical short story Diary of a Madman as a vehicle to explore the techniques of Michael Chekhov, the company’s research quickly revealed the text’s resonance with present-day concerns about the escalation of mental health issues across our societies. Made in collaboration with Irish director Sinéad Rushe and in consultation with members of Cardiff’s Bipolar Disorder community, the show is both a sensitive and meticulous study of human fragility and a platform to display Robert’s truly virtuosic character acting skills. 


In the press

"Bowman perfectly encapsulates the madness as we watch him unravel before our eyes and head deeper into a fantasy world" Western Mail

"Bowman’s madman is a masterclass… beautiful simple staging and effects. A theatrical experience, not to be missed. stunning simplicity" Y Cymro

Production details

  • Writer

    Nikolai Gogol (adapted by Living Pictures)
  • Director

    Sinéad Rushe
  • Designer

    Sarah Beaton
  • Number of people on stage

  • Number of people in touring company

  • Freight

    No freight necessary

    The set requires four wooden pallets and second hand books, which can be sourced locally.

  • Touring Availability

    From spring 2016
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    7m x 7m
  • Text-based

    Dense (important for audiences to have a good understanding of English)
  • Also contains:

    Strong Language

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Aviary, Zoo Venues
  • Production dates

    7 – 30 AUGUST (not 16 or 23 AUGUST)
  • Production times

    1800 – 1915
  • Duration

    75 MINS (no interval)
  • Audience capacity



  • Address

    142 Arabella Street
    Cardiff CF24 4SY
  • Email

  • Contact for touring

    Kate Perridge


Acting and directing workshops that include the techniques of Michael Chekhov, Sanford Meisner, Stanislavski, Sensory Awareness/Mindfulness training and NLP. These can be delivered as standalone workshops on each technique or as a study in how these various techniques combined to create the show.