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Weekend Workshops

Clowning #3: Skills and Numbers

14th-15th December 2024

Venue: Bold Elephant, 21 St.George’s Road, London SE1 6ES

Cost: £130 per weekend

Time: 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday

To book your place, email for details on how to enrol

Maximum: 18 participants per workshop

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Clowning #3 - Skills and Numbers

“How do I clown using the skills I have? How can I integrate clowning with what I am good at?"

How can we bring together your own particular way of clowning (your stupidity and craziness) with the discipline of a particular skill, the things you are good at. These might be ‘recognised performing arts’ which people habitually pay money to go and see, like music, dance, circus. To they might be eccentric abilities with no ‘value’ such as waggling your ears, crossing your eyes, or singing while gargling water; that you might entertain your friends with at a party.


How can you be both a stupid, incompetent clown and at the same time remain focused on the skill, without simply being ‘bad’ at something?


There are numerous ways to clown even while being a virtuoso (you don’t have to be a virtuoso!), where your skill presents itself in surprising and unthinkable ways.


I have dedicated much of my explorations in  teaching to the question of how to create clown material using individual skills, from circus to dance and music.


This workshop is suitable for those with an interest in clowning and have a minimum level in a performance or eccentric skill.


We will aim to cover the following:


  • what makes your skill ridiculous?

  • generating clown performance material: wrongness, disruption, surprise

  • assessing your individual discipline and skills from clown points of view

  • clown scripting: structures, formats, paths

  • generating clown performance material with individuals’ disciplines

  • performance of compositions using first principles of clown/audience dynamics of laughter response


By the end of the workshop, individual participants should each:

  • have gained an understanding of how the conditions of clown performance may apply to their own skill (at whichever level of skill they are)

  • generated sufficient clown material relating to their discipline to continue working

  • have begun the work of creating a piece of clown performance intended for public display

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