Sat, 14 Mar | Rosemary Branch Theatre

That was supposed to be funny - Creating Clown Performance

How can we bring together: the silliness, stupidity and craziness of each individual, a knowledge of the dynamics of the clown-audience relationship, with crafting and composition of performance material?
Registration is Closed
That was supposed to be funny - Creating Clown Performance

Time & Location

14 Mar 2020, 22:00 – 15 Mar 2020, 16:40
Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2 Shepperton Rd, London N1 3DT, UK

About the Event

 Creating Clown Performance Weekend "That was supposed to be funny"

14th-15th March 2020 Time: 10am-5pm Venue: Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2 Shepperton Road, London N1 3DT Cost: £145 EARLY BIRD PRICE before 15th January £120 Full details here: Please send an email to for details of how to enrol.

How can we bring together: the silliness, stupidity and craziness of each individual, a knowledge of the dynamics of the clown-audience relationship, with crafting and composition of performance material?

This workshop is aimed at those who want to develop their clown performance skills, either developing new ideas or re-working existing material. We focus on preparing material for performance. If you have ideas or material you want to work on, please bring. But you don't have to have ideas in order to come, as we will look at numerous ways to generate clown-friendly material.

The situation you will encounter in a workshop will in a sense be the quintessential clown situation: presenting bits of prepared performance in front of others, things that were ‘supposed to be funny’, but you will of course not know what will happen in reality. We may laugh, or we may not! Ideally, what was clearly supposed to be funny but isn’t will then provoke our laughter. The famous ‘flop’. So presenting something prepared that is supposed to be funny really is the quickest route to clowning. Forget about improvisation, play or trying to find yourself, and just respond to the audience’s response to you.

Personally, I especially love working on material which has flopped miserably when first shared with an audience. There is always a way out and I love finding the key to that door!

Cancellations I do not refund payments made (either whole or part payments) but I can offer you the chance to use your payment towards a course or workshop at a later date within one year of the original courser. This can only be done once and must be requested at least 48 hours before the start of a course or workshop. If you cancel within 24 hours or do not turn up without notification then you should pay any outstanding fee. This policy is to protect the viability of courses, whose costs and numbers of participants need to be confirmed in advance. I try to keep all prices as low as possible (I haven’t forgotten how difficult it can be to be a student). That’s why there is a single price, with no discounts or concessionary rates.

Jon Davison is a clown performer, teacher, director, producer, researcher and musician with over 30 years’ experience. He founded the London Clown School in order to provide regular clown training for those resident or passing through. He also teaches at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Rose Bruford College and internationally. He is the author of two books, Clown Readings in Theatre Practice and Clown Training, a practical guide, which have become major textbooks for students of clowning worldwide.

What they said

“Thank you for the brilliant course. It was wonderful in every way – personally challenging without any terror attached, mind opening, fear conquering. I think everyone should do a clown course to better understand themselves and others. And particularly do yours.” (Dr Dea Birkett, Ringmaster and leader of Circus250)

“Jon is a brilliant teacher!” (Dani Tonks, Wild Play Lab, London)

“Jon is the best teacher I have ever had, and I am a very picky person. He is like the rain that gently falls onto the earth, softly moistens the grass and encourages every plant to grow at their own pace. He never judges people and gives a lot of freedom. He makes scaffolds and you will find yourself making progress and achieving more than you have expected. The way he inspired me definitely boosted my self-confidence and stimulated my creativity. Now I know myself better and I love myself more. Last but not least, all the happiness and silliness you will experience in his clowning course is the medicine for life! We all had so much fun!” (Jingxian Mei, Clown Foundation Course 2018)

“A hilarious, fun and excruciating way to spend a Monday evening. I felt like every week I would discover a life lesson or two while learning to clown. All in all it was a pretty fantastic course!” (Molly de Dios, Clown Foundation Course 2018)

“You won't know when you start a clown course what you will discover ... with Jon Davison he makes it wholly about your journey, supportive and a true guide. He has specific and helpful ideas, which he clearly communicates, even more, he has a genuine capacity to facilitate your learning. People say he’s a clown teacher genius. I am saying this too, although I have only experienced 8 other clown teachers. I never want to leave the London Clown School … that’s why I am so happy to keep getting it wrong (this is a bad clown joke)!” (Justine Smith, London Clown School 2017-18)

“thank you so much for all the laughs and the experiences so’s a wonderful class and I’m very grateful to you and the group for the sheer joy of it all. Thanks for sharing your superb gifts and teaching” (Mark Denham - London Clown School student)

Thanks for such an engaging workshop. I loved how you de-emphasized the individual clown- which has always felt like a difficult way in for me. It was fascinating to see how we arrived at many of the core concepts in clown in a much more intuitive and felt way.  (Rebecca Stevens MA Performance Practice Research, RCSSD)

"What a ridiculously funny and informative workshop!" (Nathalie Codsi, Brighton clown student)

"Some of the most illuminating and enjoyable workshops I've done (and I'm addicted to the things)" (Jonathan Richardson, producer of House of Idiot Comedy Club, and London Clown School student)

"Jon Davison is a great clown teacher" (Lucy Hopkins, freelance physical theatre performer and creator) "I wish I was in London to do this, the man's a genius!!" (Klara Van Wyk, clown student and performer, South Africa) 

Registration is Closed

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