Wrong! A Carnival of Human Error

Wellcome Collection Late


On Friday 5 July 2013, the Wellcome Collection was taken over by a carnival of wrongness and tomfoolery.  More than 1,500 visitors took part in talks, performances, games and interactive demonstrations I had commissioned and developed for the evening.

Being wrong is an essential part of being human. No matter how hard we try, we're all going to make mistakes. You, me, your doctor, that politician on the telly - we're all only human. Irrational, inaccurate, self-deceiving and all too easily led astray.  So I decided we should admit it... 

For one night only, artists and scientists encouraged visitors to embrace error, fawn on failure and delight in disaster.  Visitors confessed their worst mistakes in our shame confessional, were amazed by close-up magicians and scientific illusions, competed in six different specially-designed Wrongness Games, and let loose their inner fool in a clowning masterclass with expert John Wright. 

For those who preferred to watch others being foolish, there was our band of musical Fools, or the Wrongness Cabaret, featuring award-winning magician Lee Hathaway, brilliant stand-up from Nish Kumar and some very brave stand-up academics, and a specially-commissioned song from Jo Stephenson. 

Plus expert talks from Gustav Kuhn, Benedetto de Martino and Amina Memon - who also led a team of psychologists from Royal Holloway in assessing our visitors’ accuracy as eyewitnesses, in an experiment specially developed for the night.

All this, plus a bar all night: turns out being wrong is way more fun than being right.

photos all copyright Wellcome Library, London.

Carnival of Fools was created and performed by Daniel Bye, Seiriol Davies, Hannah Emanuel, Edward Jaspers and Susie Riddell.