Past projects:


Handsome Dog is proud to present ‘Forest’ performed by The BRUSNIKIN STUDIO (Masterskaya Brusnikina), a pioneering acting collective made up of young graduates from the Moscow Arts Theatre School. One of the few independent theatre companies in Russia, their work blends video, music and stage design, with elements of circus, puppetry and verbatim to explore pressing contemporary themes. Alan Cox is associate director of 'Forest,’ having worked with these performers in Moscow.

"At a time of extraordinary advances in information technology, in a world divided by national borders, ‘FOREST’ reminds us that we still have the natural world in common. With the urgent call to deepen our environmental awareness this piece of physical theatre, invites an audience to explore how we may approach this mutual challenge with joy."

Handsome Dogs' father Brian Cox, was one of the first post-perestroika champions of international arts collaboration, bringing a Russian language production of ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller to the Assembly Rooms in 1989. Now, thirty years later, the Moscow Arts Theatre School actors again come to the Edinburgh Fringe.


The Checkpoint, Assembly Rooms, Venue 322

31st July – 11th August 2019

16:40 - 17:40

Directed by Dmitry Melkin

From Scotland To Russia with Love

One hundred years on from the revolution, Brian Cox travels to Russia to find out what connects the two nations.

Romance and Revolution - soldiers, architects and weavers, and the exchange of literary heroes, politics and football.

Subjects: Charles Cameron, Patrick Gordon, Walter Scott, Calton weavers, Robert Bruce Lockhart, John Maclean.

Archives:Podolsk - Diaries of General Gordon, who would save Peter the Great from two coups and helped educate the young tsar on military and naval matters. The Tsar told Patrick “I gave you a handful of dirt, you gave me Russia.” The film follows connections between writers Walter Scott, Ivan Turgenev and Lev Tolstoy. In the village of Earlstone, we find a statue to the famous Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. While back in Petersburg, on Vasilievsky island Andrei, explains how his family can be traced back to the weavers who found work at Scottish mills. These same weavers that first introduced Russians to football. The ‘father of football’ was Arthur Macpherson, and Fife- born footballer Robert Bruce Lockhart, hid another secret: a British spy trying to stop the Bolsheviks. Walking alongside the Neva there are more signs of Clydeside politics under the Soviets: “Maklin Avenue” after Scottish socialist hero John Maclean. International hostility could not separate these two nations.

The Pigeon in the Taj Mahal

Alan Cox directs “The Pigeon in the Taj Mahal” – a soul-warming colcannon stuffed full of sixpenny bits. It is an evocative moment in time where disparate forces co-exit and overlap long enough to disturb your equilibrium and expose the “pitch black lonely” of human fallout. This liminal space between folklore and fact, nature and neurosis, searching and stasis, makes for a fecund 90 minutes of beautiful melancholia. It quietly seeps into your bones and takes you into another world where fairies and creatures of the night were just outside your peripheral vision, tempting you to join the darkness.

The Irish Repertory Theatre November 16- December 31, 2016

The Beast of Brexit

Drawing on biographies of the mayor of London by Sonia Purnell and Andrew Gimson, a great many newspaper articles, Johnson’s own journalism in publications from the Eton Chronicle to the Daily Telegraph and a few of his countless TV appearances, Williams assembles a blistering charge sheet against his target: climate change denial, dishonesty, hypocrisy, incompetence, racism, violence, ‘remorseless self-promotion’, ‘a ruthless and often cruel ambition together with an elitism and a ferocious temper when challenged’.

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Game of Drones: The President and the White House Fly

Game of Drones, written by Heathcote Williams; narration and visual montage by Alan Cox. Festival full length - Margaret Cox

PART ONE - The President and the White House Fly

"Events of great consequence often spring from trifling circumstances."

(Ex parvis saepe magnarum momenta rerum pendent.)

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War requiem

War Requiem is a documentary project to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The film was inspired by and features music from the 2007 album War Stories, which was produced by James Lavelle and his band UNKLE.

Film festivals

The film will also be shown as part of Cinema Veramente Indipendente - Rome, Italy 2015

Mediawave Festival, Hungary

Sheffield Documentary Film Festival 2015

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A is for Atom

This is an assembly of shorts based on the work of Heathcote Williams’ from his Forbidden Fruit series. In the tradition of anarcho-pacificism they focus on the anomalies, hypocrisies and atrocities of war and sovereignty. “Einstein’s Brain”, “The Atomic Museum”, “Inheritance” and “No Borders” all serve as a reminder of the follies and grand statements of individuals made, and enacted upon, before the full consequences are taken into account.

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Opening Skinner's box

Alan was honoured to be part of the devising team behind Improbable Theatre Company’s “Skinner’s Box.” An investigation in dreamtime of greatest behavioural psychology experiments of the twentieth century, which are no longer ethically possible. Names which should not be forgotten for their contribution to science: B.F. Skinner, Stanley Milgram, Harry Harlowe, David Rosenhan and Elizabeth Loftus.

Showing July 10 - 12 Lincoln Centre

The Divided Laing

London, 1970. Experimental psychiatrist R.D. Laing is facing eviction from his pioneering asylum in the East End’s Kingsley Hall. Local residents are up in arms and , Ronnie’s revolutionary colleague David Cooper is having a psychotic episode on the roof...

With the destruction of his personal life and his mental state, Ronnie takes an acid trip to the future. His mission is to save his therapeutic collective The Philadelphia Association, and secure his professional legacy. But can breakdown sometimes mean breakthrough?

The Kingmaker

Handsome Dog Celebrates, and wishes we had produced "The Kingmaker"

With the last Election England has declared itself feudal, not progressive, and desirous of being Federal (will the Scottish National Party be forced to stand in Northern England where democracy has ended?).... Banquo's ghost has returned.


June 2013, 59E59 Theater, Off-Broadway, New York

"So all the time, while you were pretending to work, you've been having the most astonishing adventures in that corner?" A forgotten masterpiece from one of Britain's greatest dramatists, J.B. Priestley. Far from being an old-fashioned traditionalist, J.B. Priestley was “a bit of a mystic, an intense visionary and reformer who was interested in pointing the way toward a new, hopeful morality" (Stephen Daldry). Priestley in this play uses the mystery of Murrison’s death as a means of asking his audience are we responsible? He wrote the play between the wars and he was looking for a new vision. Sam Yates looked for a new vision in staging the play. He wanted, he said, “to clean it up to its original state, much like you would a painting” to reveal what's new.

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Royal Babylon

Inspired by Heathcote Williams’ poem ‘Royal Babylon: The Criminal Record of the British Monarchy’, filmmakers Alan Cox and Margaret Cox present a video polemic using a mix of media provocation.

Royal Babylon introduction, Killing an Ibis, Mad Monarchs, Michael eX, Harry Trouble, I Danced With A Man, Foot In mouth, Folk on the Hill, Knight Hoods, Milton Gas, Swift Justice, Raj Doubt, Gaunt etc, Koh I Noor, Paine and Thoth, Blake Acres Zappa. Behind each one lies a Crime….

Afterthoughts: Glitter Freeze, London Babylon...

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Black Snow at the Moscow Arts Studio Theatre

by Mikhail Bulgakov

Black Snow, written in the late 1930s but first published in 1967, is a comedy revisiting this era, and sees Mikhail Bulgakov settling scores with the acting impresario Stanislavski for mutilating his work on stage. As such, it's a book for writers everywhere.

A reporter on the Shipping Gazette, Maxudov (Bulgakov in disguise) has written a truly terrible novel – "Every night I lay staring into the hellish darkness and repeating: 'it's terrible'." After contemplating suicide he is saved by the editor of a literary journal, and the work is then picked up by the legendary Independent Theatre. Suddenly Maxudov has a new career as a playwright.

Maxudov chronicles his experiences with egoism and vanity of the theatre world of Stanislavsky, with a deadly eye for the absurd: a description of the theatre's provincial art display, portraits of Shakespeare and Molière juxtaposed with the theatre's chief lighting technician and head seamstress, Maxudov's lethal treatment at the hands of the small-town literary elite and a riotous depiction of the jam-eating phony Ivan Vasilievich (Stanislavski).

One of the last books Bulgakov wrote, Black Snow explores, most explicitly of all his works, the greatest problem he faced at the time: censorship. While Maxudov had the luxury of lashing out, Bulgakov did not, and he died without seeing his masterpieces published – this tragedy fuelling his comedy.


January 2011 - April 2011

First staged as a series of video art installations, at the National Center for Contemporary Art Moscow, KOZMOS was an artists’ collective formed by curator Margaret Cox, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of man's first flight into space, the flight of the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on board the Soviet spacecraft Vostok.

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