Only Wolves & Lions


2011 - 2017

A meal
A conversation
A performance provocation

Only wolves and lions eat alone, you should not eat, not even a snack, on your own.

Only Wolves and Lions was created as our first truely participatory performance in 2011. In the wake of the 2008 financial crash, the event offered an empowering space for people to explore the possibilities of temporary community and counter the sense of social isolation and fragmentation which was growing at the time, in part due to the impact of austerity policies.

Each participant was asked to bring one ingredient to contribute to a meal for 20 people. During the event the group designs and decides on the menu and then cooks and eats together. The hosts weave opportunities for intimate conversations and larger group dialogues throughout the process. From a ruined hotel on the Greek coast, a gastronomic society in the Basque Country, to an old chapel by the side of the road in Manchester, Only Wolves and Lions found a home in some inspiring places.

It was a rebellion against ready-meals and lunch deals and an active experiment in community, action and the pursuit of happiness. It subverted the conventions of the theatre and the everyday, providing an evening of simple pleasures that reminds us of the things we forget to make time for.

Having toured the work within arts contexts for a number of years, we began using the work’s structure to create bespoke projects within specific community contexts, where those we were working with would define the content/theme that they wanted to address. Find out more about these bespoke projects here.

Our work is currently focusing on working with and within communities to create spaces for dialogue and reflection. As such we are offering the Only Wolves And Lions structure as a starting point for new projects in collaboration with organisations and community groups.  

Creative Team

Created and directed by
Leo Kay
Devised and Performed by
Leo Kay & Unai Lopez de Armentia or Patrizia Paolini
DJ / Sound Design by
Sam Campbell
Produced by
Anna Smith

"A strangely radical act, Only Wolves and Lions is a beautiful, generous, heart-swelling experience. The warmth generated by these collective activities is quietly extraordinary."

[ Katherine Love, Exeunt Magazine ]
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