In person workshops are back in London, see below for details!
For online options, go here
How to register for classes: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest and to know if there are places available.
One-Week Workshop in London
13th-17th June 2022
Venue: Limehouse Town Hall, 646 Commercial Road, London E14 7HA
To book your place, email email@example.com for details on how to enrol
Maximum: 16 participants
This workshop dives into the fundamental dynamics of clowning: what happens between us when we clown in front of others, alone or with others?
This workshop is concerned with laughter, and the unique relationship the clown performer has with it - when it is present and when it is absent. But it is not concerned directly with the question of HOW to be funny. Nor is it concerned with the question of WHY something is funny. These are not inane questions but they are dealt wit amply by others elsewhere.
Laughter is the fulcrum upon which clowning balances. Laughter does amazing things to us, physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. Whilst we are immersed in it, it seems to relieve us of the burdens of norms, expectations and even meaning itself. What a relief!
But it is never under our control. To pursue such domination is a pointless task. But neither is it advisable to discard it, out of fear of not attaining it. Clowns who MUST be funny and clowns who DON’T HAVE to be funny are a turn off.
This workshop is mostly about relationships, between you and others, whether you or they are clowning or witnessing the clowning. The relationships form dynamically and change rapidly in real time, buffeted about by actions, responses, laughter, the absence of laughter, and our feelings about ourselves and others.
Converting our habitual fear of ridicule into the pleasure of laughing at ourselves, we can use it to make others laugh and experience the freedom clowning. How do clowns do what they do, how does your stupidity make you a success, and how does the unthinkably ridiculous come about?
When you really look, most things are ridiculous: our bodies, our movements, our ideas, our emotions, our words, our relationships, the universe. The only aim in clowning is to turn failure into success, fear into laughter, suffering into joy. We don’t need to change ourselves, just look at everything from another perspective. It’s a human thing to do, so anyone can do it.
Clowning is sometimes shrouded in mystery but in reality it's a very simple mode of performance. This workshop uses simple exercises rooted in laughter response in order to access clowning in the most direct manner possible.
SUPPORTED BY LIMEHOUSE TOWN HALL
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)