This workshop will look at the fundamentals of clowning, learning to feel and enjoy our own ridiculousness. 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 of the clown.
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.
The workshop will use simple and effective exercises that have been developed over many years teaching all kinds of people all over the world. These exercises have the sole aim of cultivating a dynamic relationship between us which is based on laughing at ourselves. When we share laughter, amazing things happen!
Devising for Clown Performance
How do we bring together your own particular way of clowning (your stupidity and craziness) with careful crafting and composition of performance material?
In this workshop we shall be looking at how to make sure the material you create really works for you. There are countless practical ways of devising material appropriate for your clowning. Awareness of and understanding of these is far preferable to just hoping the clown you ‘found’ or a single idea will survive the real stage situation.
This workshop fuses a personal approach to your clowning together with taking care to set up and structure your performance. Other kinds of comic performers habitually spend a lot of time and effort on ‘material’. Stand-up comedians worry over joke structure, sketch comedians search for strong premises for their ideas. Why should clowns be different? Just because clowns incarnate the chaotic, the inept and the disruptive, doesn’t mean that clowning is not, in part, a craft. Popular misconceptions suppose that clowns just get up there and are funny just by being true to their inner selves. But looking inside yourself won’t really save you if your number isn’t working for an audience.
This workshop is suitable for those with differing levels of experience, but who want to begin or have begun to create their own performances as clowns. You might be stuck and want to find a way to complete your creation, or want to revisit your material and improve it or change it, or find a way to make your ideas suit your own way of clowning more closely.
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.
Creating Clown Performance Weekend
"That was supposed to be funny"
14th-15th March 2020
Venue: Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2 Shepperton Road, London N1 3DT
EARLY BIRD PRICE before 15th January £120
Please send an email to email@example.com 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!