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Devising for Clown Performance with Jon Davison

Thu 15 Nov 2018 : 6:30 pm - 8:15 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)
weekly classes

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 performances at an end-of-term showcase. If you have ideas or material you want to work on, please bring them to the Clown Devising class on Thursdays. But you don’t have to have ideas in order to come to the class, as we spend have the time devising new stuff, and the other half on what people bring.

What are the devising workshops held every Thursday all about?

The hallmarks of London Clown School classes are about bringing together: the silliness, stupidity and craziness of each individual, a knowledge of the dynamics of the clown-audience relationship, with careful crafting and composition of performance material.

Clowning isn’t just bunging an idea that worked in a workshop on stage and hoping for inspiration.
Clowning isn’t just pretending you’re playing or improvising.
Clowning is a craft, a set of conventions, an artform.
Just because you had a spiritual experience in a workshop doesn’t mean that audiences will like you.

London Clown School brings tradition and craft back to contemporary clowning, from where it has been exiled for half a century, at the hands of an over-enthusiastic faith in truth and the inner self.

London Clown School looks for a fusion between old and new clowning, taking care to pay attention to the set-up, the conditions, the contract, the conventions, as well as each individual’s own stupidity.

Above all, London Clown School aims to avoid the pitfalls of performer training, and not assume that what works in a workshop will work for the public.

It’s all very well experiencing clowning in a workshop situation, where the teacher sets up the frame and conditions, but quite another matter when you come to perform in front of audiences out there in public.

Something else is required. 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? 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.

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’ will survive the real stage situation. These forms and structures of clown material also derive from simple notions of what clowns actually do.

Cost: £180 (whole 12-week term); £75 (5 classes); £60 (4 classes); £18 (1 class)
Max. no. of participants: 20

​To enrol, please email: info@jondavison.net      Payments in advance are valid for the term.​


Thu 15 Nov 2018
6:30 pm - 8:15 pm
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Chats Palace Arts Centre
42-44 Brooksby's Walk
London, E9 6DF United Kingdom


London Clown School

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