London Clown School
Current courses are all online.
London Clown School is now in its fifth year offering regular clown training all year round
Enrolment will soon be open for the next Practical Clowning Courses and Clown Studies Courses from August onwards.
How to register for classes: Please send an email to indicating your interest and to know if there are places available.
Online clown classes are such a new phenomenon that often people find it hard to imagine what they are like. So here are some clips from exercises in class to give an idea of some of what goes on.
Online Clowning Part 1
Cost: £75 (10 classes)
£50 (6 classes)
£10 (1 class)
Max. no. of participants: 10
Online Clowning Part 2 – Devising for Performance
Cost: £75 (10 classes)
£50 (6 classes)
£10 (1 class)
Max. no. of participants: 10
Clown Studies Course: History, Theory and Analysis of Clown
6th Oct-8th Dec 2021
Time: 18.30-20.30 (London time) (Berlin 19:30, New York/Montreal 13:30, Montevideo 14:30, Vancouver/Los Angeles 10:30)
Cost: £150 (whole term); £80 (5 classes); £18 (1 class)
EARLY BIRD PRICE before 13th June - £120
Clown Studies Course (Parts 2 and 3)
Time: 18.30-20.30 (London time) (Berlin 19:30, New York/Montreal 13:30, Montevideo 14:30, Vancouver/LA 10:30)
“Jon invites us through a door into the agility of our imagination. His ideas and exercises are simple, playful, whimsical, and work in deep moment-to-moment awareness. But please look around at other online miracles as I don’t want this one to get over crowded.
(Peter Shub, Clown, USA/Germany)
"It was such a pleasure and inspiration to join the London Clown School online. It was both freeing and vulnerable, risky and low-stakes, silly and full of learning. Really fun watching a great teacher do his thing, and watching others succeed and fail with equal enthusiasm. I got so much out of it as a performer, and also as a person deprived of interesting and spontaneous human experiences by pandemic isolation." (Marya Bee, Performer and Creator, Canada)
“The class was relaxed, playful and wonderfully exploratory! I loved it and have been using what I've learned to keep going with online clowning!” (Charlotte Gowdy, Independent Performer, UK)
"I loved Clown School Online. Jon is such an encouraging and insightful teacher- he always spots where your work is exciting but more importantly how you can take it forwards. I learnt so much from him and the rest of the group. There was a mixture of prepared pieces, tasks off the cuff and both group and solo work which constantly kept me on my toes! I found the online format was actually beneficial in making my jokes clearer, better written and better structured... It felt like it became about the material rather than just stage presence. I thoroughly recommend Jon's classes- they were an absolute joy!!!
Looking forward to joining another course soon!"
(Paloma Oakenfold, Performer, UK)
"This course has been of great value to me because not only has it been informative but it has kept me feeling creative and has connected me with a diverse group of people in Lockdown. On this course you don't just learn from the teacher you learn from everyone else on the course and you find out more about your own aptitudes, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses. I think the more you put in the more you get out of it. The other participants bring a very diverse and culturally rich range of ideas to bear. The course being digital at moment has added value as devising for Zoom calls for much more considered use of the frame, sometimes editing and the motion rhythm seems of heightened importance. The clown relation to audience has been a big challenge and a stimulus throughout. I strongly recommend this course."
(Ian Macnaughton, Actor, UK)
Clown training goes online
With the help of a grant from Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund, I am exploring new and innovative online possibilities in clown teaching, by testing online options for clown teaching at London Clown School. Somewhat fortuitously, I came into our current situation having had some experience in the design and delivery of online teaching materials for clowning with the first Clown Studies Course (History, Theory and Analysis) in January of this year.
My main focus has begun with adapting the syllabus from the former weekly ‘Devising for Clown Performance’ classes, which I have offered in London for a number of years. Through experimental sessions with interested performers, teachers, and students I began by testing some possibilities and limitations of online study in the area of creating clown performance. This area of clown training, with a large component of creation which occurs previous to the live performance, seems like it might lend itself more easily to online education. As a result, I am now at the stage of running a number of six-week series of classes.
The next phase will be to test the teaching of those aspects of live clown performance which normally assume or demand the physical presence of performers and spectators in the same space, which presents greater obstacles in translating to online media.
This process, at the moment, looks to respond to urgent current circumstances, but then will come questions in addressing the unknown of whatever circumstances we may find ourselves in in the near future. We don’t know how much demand for online learning will be sustained. Perhaps it will maintain itself at the current level, perhaps it will increase, or perhaps it will drop off if circumstances change. Current responses to my own initial plans from both professionals and students suggest that especially those with difficult access to performer and arts training will continue to engage online after lockdown.
I hope that these innovations may have some useful impact on teachers and students in my field and play some role in the development of clown teaching and performance globally, which has always been of prime importance to me.
So, instead of asking, ‘when will we return to like it was before with live audiences and workshops?’ we can ask ‘how do we do this now?’ (whether we return or not). Our unique new historical circumstances may lay the foundation for an exciting new way of understanding our artform. My hope is to be able to develop, innovate, and support the world network of clowns and clowning for the future.
There are many clown teachers. There are many methods. They do not agree. Here is a quick way to get an idea of my approach:
Words I use: funny, laughter, do, action, task, object, clown, clowns, clown-like, clown-ish, gag, number, act, exercise, pretend, simple, fake, real, why, feel, emotion, think, human, surprise, impact, intrude, disrupt, contradict, shame, love, audience, script, wrong, stupid, look, friend, plan, experiment, science, attention, drama, dynamics, mechanics, conversation, skill, repertoire, fear, ridiculous, conditioning, cultivate, aware, speak ...
Words I don’t use: spontaneous, authentic, sacred, self, inner, mask, truth, the clown, improvisation, play, game, high stakes, universal, difficult, wisdom, transform, art, collaborate, physical, spiritual, problem, status, ensemble, dark, tragic, contemporary, traditional, rule, creative, imagination, fiction, message, personal, mime ...
Please send an email to and I will send you details of how to pay.
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.
“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)
"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)!”
"If you can make it and were thinking of going, just go. It's amazing." (Caitlin Day - Nottingham Clown Course)
"thank you so much for all the laughs and the experiences so far...it’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)
"This morning’s class in emojis...
😶🤨🤥😭😅 💩" (Avril Cummins - Johannesburg teacher of theatre)
“a teacher who never gave up and taught me not to be afraid” (Fiona Keenan, Bristol workshop student)
"What a ridiculously funny and informative workshop!" (Nathalie Codsi, Brighton clown 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)
“The workshop was fantastic, one of the best things I’ve done since I arrived in England … I am definitely laughing much more and much harder since the workshop!” (Dror Latan, Circomedia student)
“Great fun and a very good learning experience” (Katherine Steer, Brighton clown student)
“I really enjoy your teaching approach... I felt I was eased into the session nicely (as I was a little nervous), but toward the end I felt like we were digging deeper. It was a nice gradient!” (Jenny Haufek, Brighton clown performer and 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)