Clown through Mask intensive 11 September - 6 October '23

'Of the many clown courses I've done this was by far the most inspiring.'

Samantha Holdsworth, founder Clowns without Borders UK

This groundbreaking course over four intensive weeks in East London is a rare opportunity to develop your clowning in ways you could never previously imagine.

A synthesis of indigenous Canadian and European clown traditions, it draws on the power of masks to free all aspects of your self to play. Out of these beautiful, surprising and ridiculous contradictions, your clown emerges. 

 

Over the month, each person makes and wears six unique masks – an act of facing and embodying all directions of the self. By facing all the fundamental aspects of our humanity, we can act as a mirror to the audience, revealing far more of ourselves through the physicality and vision of the masks than we ever could without them.

 

The first week begins with exercises that engage the whole self through movement, sound, paint and colour, laying the groundwork for wearing the masks. Subsequent weeks follow a process of making, and wearing each mask, followed by time to integrate and perform with the mask in clowning exercises, Feldenkrais, improvisation and performances. 

 

The course provides a thorough grounding in the art of the clown, combining exploration of the emotional and mythological realms where the clown lives with sessions on technique, structuring scenes, and physical expressivity. No previous experience of clowning is necessary, but a willingness to play, take risks and step outside your comfort zone is. Please note this is a highly intensive course, and you are advised to minimise other commitments during the four weeks, as you will need time for making the 6 masks outside of class times.

 

This transformative method is based on the pioneering work of Richard Pochinko and subsequently Sue Morrison. Facilitator Jonathan has developed the work through his own 25-year engagement with Clown through Mask, drawing on his Lecoq and Feldenkrais trainings to supplement and enrich the work.

He has been teaching Clown through Mask since 2005, including several times as part of the London International Mime Festival. As well as being an award-winning theatre-maker, scriptwriter and director, Jonathan is an experienced teacher and facilitator who currently teaches theatre, Feldenkrais and movement at LAMDA, and has previously regularly taught at Central School of Speech and Drama, Embodied Poetics and arthaus Berlin (formerly LISPA). See full biog here

Dates:  11th September - 6th October 2023, all Mondays to Fridays 10am - 5pm, plus last Friday 6th October until 8pm.

Where: Chisenhale Dance Space, 64-84 Chisenhale Road, East London E3 5QZ 

Fee: Super-early bird OFFER £1200. Book by 1st Jan 2023.*

Early bird offer - book by 31st March 2023. £1275. 

Regular booking after 31st March. £1350.

How to apply: Email Jonathan (at foot of page) with a short letter of introduction about yourself & your interest in the course. Please also indicate if you have any health or mental health conditions I should be aware of. *A non-refundable deposit of £250 is due to secure your place; the remainder of the fee is typically due before the start of the course (though payment in pre-agreed instalments is also possible).

'Mind-blowing and incredible fun.' Matteo C., past student

'This was a wonderful and life-expanding course! I learnt so much it will take me a long time to absorb it. Already I have grown as a person and as a performer in unexpected ways... I haven't laughed so much in a long time.'   Gerry Carroll, past student

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'Clown through mask completely revolutionised clown for me, and what a joy! Jonathan is a sensitive, listening teacher with a deft ability to hold you, guide you and kick you up the bum at exactly the right moment... a gloriously mad, intuitive, dreamlike experience combined with a fantastically practical and rigorous ‘how to’ element that actually leaves you equipped to go and start making work - what a relief!'   Saskia Solomons, past student

 

'I can't recommend Jonathan Young's approach enough... it's a surprising and honest exploration of human emotions, a journey from the depths to the heights.  He leads each participant to discover something true and inherently human about themselves.' Genny Steccone, past student

'An exquisite journey...  I felt completely held and pushed to develop a tactile craft of the knowledge of clowning... It was the experience of a lifetime and lead me to create my own one-woman show! Technically useful, spiritually healing - I wish I could do it all again.'   Andrea Spisto, past student

'An astonishing journey... Hilarious, challenging, playful, empowering, profound, subtle, full of laughter and tears, love and pain.  I learnt so much about myself and the art of clowning.  It was such an enriching experience, that I would recommend to anyone in the performing arts who is interested in authentic human connection and the power of empathy... Jonathan is a wonderful facilitator and a true delight to work with.  He is both sensitive and firm with his guidance, creating a culture of trust and tenderness within the group, but was also not afraid to push individuals when he deemed necessary.'   Tiff Wear, past student

'Jonathan's course was mysterious, practical, hilarious and profound, and the performances created during the course were surprising and hysterical. Especially recommended for those who want to create and explore clown performances during the course.' Nat Bolonkin, past student 

 

'I'd definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in performance. The work is surprising, challenging, powerful, and will stay with me for a long time... Jonathan has a special way of empowering his students - he is adept at creating an atmosphere that can both challenge and nurture.' 

Daniel Hernandez, past student