Clowning and physical comedy

Course Dates: 15/01/23 - 05/02/23
Time: 12:15 - 14:15
Location: Keeley Street
Discover the fundamentals of fun, exploring what makes us laugh and what it means to be a clown. We’ll dive deep down into the funny bones of comedic genres that have lasted centuries and learn techniques in the physical style of comedy performance. No previous experience needed. Warning: a great deal of serious silliness will be had!
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Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £62.00

This course has now started

Course Code: DRM109

Started Sun, day, 15 Jan - 05 Feb '23

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This is a crash course in the art of laughter and comedy for any budding clowns, comedians, funny people out there looking to understand this funny old world we live in. For anyone who has ever wondered how Chaplin or Keaton made you chuckle at the flick of their hats or Mr Bean with a look in their eyes, or why that person tripping up was so funny. If you have no idea who they are or what clowning is and want to discover one of the richest and most open forms of theatre, you’re in the right place.

What will we cover?

We’ll work in some of the key physical comedy worlds each class. Using techniques such as Mime, Clown, Slapstick, Commedia dell’arte & the Absurd.

We’ll explore the rhythm and timing of comedy, establish and develop your very own clown into existence, learn the skills of contemporary clowning and the machinations of comedy setups.

We’ll be looking at “waking up” your very own clown.
We’ll explore the extravagance in simplicity and how to play with an audience and engage with them
We’ll explore the philosophy of clowning and the reason it is such a rich, personal and beautiful form of theatre making.
Using these techniques we’ll then take them into improvisations and scenarios towards developing our comedic taste and style even further in the great martial art of Laughter.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Explore key styles of physical comedy and the techniques used within each style.
Create the initial beginnings of your very own clown after exploring the physical and mental aspects of performing clown.
Perform confidently in improvising as a clown and as a human in a variety of styles of comedy.
Recognise what a comedic routine contains and have the understanding to create your own.
Have a better understanding of comedy in theatre, some of the rules of comedy and if/when to break them.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

An understanding of Acting and improvisation is helpful.
No experience is needed but an openness to embrace your inner fool is vital.
Wear comfortable appropriate clothing that allows for ease of movement. Similar to something you’d wear going to the gym.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

There will be solo, partner and group work. The classes build up gradually, starting with a warm up that prepares for and tunes into the theme of each session. This process (for the most part) does not require a ‘copy the teacher’ style of learning, instead you are asked to physically engage with and explore given instructions to find a deeper connection to your body, which in turn will act as a base for communication in pair and small group work.

You will be asked to participate in rigorous activity. Please consider whether you could do this, if you are in any doubt consult a medical practitioner.

As part of the course content, your tutor may record your image for initial and ongoing assessment purposes. You are entitled to decline to participate in the recording of your image.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Wear comfortable appropriate clothing that allows for ease of movement. No shoes required, in fact bare foot moving is advised (slip-proof socks are permissible). As we engage in some contact work with other students it is essential to observe good personal hygiene and wear clean movement clothes to class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Search our website for Physical Skills For Actors which offers Stage Combat, Mime, Physical Theatre, Movement for Actors and Laban or speak to the tutor for advice and guidance.

Sean Croft Tutor Website

Sean trained at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, a world renowned school for physical theatre. Over the two years he trained in devised theatre, ensemble building, character development, mask work, mime, object manipulation / puppetry and clowning, among a vast array of other training. Sean also trained at East 15 Acting School on the BA Hons / Acting & Stage Combat degree graduating in 2011, gaining specialist skills in nine different weapon sets alongside an extensive acting program, in contemporary and classical work and practitioners. Sean works as a performer, director and choreographer, and regularly leads workshops and courses for theatre companies across the UK, Europe and Asia. His approach to theatre follows predominantly from his training at Lecoq, with the body and with a playful curiosity, exploring the space and how the body moves within it. In his courses he hopes to open up a deeper understanding of performance technique, emotional engagement, physicality and the exploration of all aspects of life through theatre and to share his deep profound love of what he does with others.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.