PLAY AND THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE (two days)
Devising is collaborative writing and play is the sharpest tool in the box when you’re devising. Play is the discipline that keeps the ideas coming. You always work harder and with less apparent effort when you’re enjoying yourself. This workshop explores the ways and means of generating play. We’ll explore; conscious and unconscious play, finding the game, revealing the game, hiding the game and opening up texts and situations through play.
COMPLICITY: THE ART BEHIND EVERYTHING (one day)
How you play, how you interact, generate ideas and enable things to happen is dependent on your complicity with yourself, with other people, the material you’re working with and the audience you’re playing to. This workshop draws on innumerable games designed to enhance and develop your taste for complicity.
WHY IS THAT SO FUNNY? (two days)
This is a workshop on comic timing. We’ll examine: slights, takes, double takes and reversals and play with the rhythmic changes and surprises of physical comedy.
CAN YOU SEE ME MOTHER? (two days)
This is a workshop on playing audience. Theatre changes radically once it’s openly acknowledged that we’re all in the same room. Playing the audience makes perfect sense in playing clown but what happens if the style of play is more like psychological realism? What changes in your relationship with the audience when you’re story telling as opposed to playing a scene? And how can one form influence the other? And finally: what happens when the audience is in a different configuration than being end on?
DO THEY KNOW YOU’RE IN HERE? (Three days)
This is a course in simple clown based on the idea of removing all those masks of intelligence, sensitivity and sophistication to reveal the ludicrous stupidity that lies beneath. This is an introduction to the idea of simple clown and clown play.
PROVOKING HALF-MASKS (three days)
This workshop examines half-mask theatre and offers a modern take on Commedia dell’ Arte, which is the prototype of farce. We examine commedia masks, explore the master-servant relationship and investigate the bouffant qualities of Pulcinallo.
GOING WHERE IT HURTS (three days)
This is a course in pathetic clown. What happens when simple clown is confronted with rejection, personal sadness or bereavement? Is it possible for the laughter to stop without descending into mawkish sentimentality? Pathetic clown is an important milestone on the way of clowning in a dramatic situation. This course is best suited to those who have some experience in clowning.
WHEN THE CLOWN BECOMES THE KING (three days)
This is a course in tragic clown. What happens when roles like Hamlet or King Lear are played as clowns? Clown play in the theatre is more subtle and more nuanced than it is in the circus and the moment it becomes clear to us that you know you’re a fool we start to empathize with you. How can a clown be head of state? This is a course for those with some experience in clowning.
GOD’S LITTLE MISTAKES (Three days)
This is an introduction to bouffant. Where the clown loves the audience, the bouffant hates the audience and everything the bouffant does is an attempt to reveal our hypocrisy. This is a course about playing with parody which is the game of imitation; of deliberately bed imitation designed to see how far you can go with it before the audience is offended.