Pélissier’s Follies is about bringing the life and work of H.G.Pélissier to a wider audience and to ensure that what he achieved as a satirist and composer gets the recognition it deserves.
In our opinion his contribution to the history of British theatre and satire needs to be told. However, if Harry Pélissier was as extraordinary as we claim, why is he so unknown? It's a good question and one that remains a mystery. The outbreak of WW1 directly after his death couldn't have helped, nor could the fact that he repeatedly poked fun at those in positions of power and influence.
Creatively, Harry is also hard to categorise. Do you label him a satirist, a composer, a performer or an impresario? As he flitted effortlessly between them all, it appears he fell between the tidy labels that historians and academics like to use and got lost.
As we’ve discovered, bringing a forgotten satirist and composer back from the dead after 108 years has to be done slowly and carefully. Curiosity is mixed with suspicion and one has to prove that he was and is relevant.
This site and Anthony Binns' 2022 biography, The Funniest Man in London, are some of the steps we’ve taken to ensure that he is. In the pipeline is the Pelissier’s Follies Songbook, a radio documentary and a musical revue.
© JG Pélissier
As Anthony Binns I'm an historical researcher and author of The Funniest Man in London and Rediscovering H.G.Pélissier (2020). I graduated with a History BA from Kings College, London in 1976 London. When not working on bringing to life the lost genius of Harry Pélissier and The Follies I work as the playwright, performer and musician - www.mitchferal.com
As Mitch Feral I wrote the music hall show Now Here’s A Funny Story – a short, dramatised history of the Victorian and Edwardian music hall which has been touring the UK since 2016. I also perform my own music hall act under the name Tommy Parsons. www.funnystoryproductions.com
I've written several other stage works including Barnstormers (1990), the story of the nineteenth century travelling actress Charlotte Lowes; and the award winning Sweet Engineering of the Lucid Mind (2010).
Anthony Binns & aka Mitch Feral
I started my career in the film industry but unlike most of my family moved away from the world of creative entertainment to run my own digital agency - Peligital.
Whilst I no longer create and produce films, I have a 200-year old theatrical ancestry that I am immensely proud of. Harry and Fay are an important part of this, just two of many actors in my family who have had significant an influence on British and American theatre.
For many years I talked about doing something with Harry's music. From family conversations I was aware of his success but as is often the case with such plans, my own life took priority. Anthony's unexpected appearance and his enthusiasm for Harry's work is the catalyst for much of what we know about him and The Follies today.
A big thank you to Simon Callow, Graeme Garden, David Roper at Heavy Entertainment, Paul Smith at Opera Tottie and Patrick Allen at Connaught Artists for their constant support, enthusiasm and interest.