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Clown through Mask courses 2025

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

Samantha Holdsworth, founder Clowns without Borders UK

FULL DETAILS SOON FOR TRAININGS 2025,  email to join waiting list.

12-23 MAY (Part One) - HAUTE LANGUEDOC, S. FRANCE 

BERLIN 4-15 AUGUST 2025 (Part One) Weekdays 9.30-1.30pm at the EDEN STUDIOS (hosted by arthaus Berlin)

4 - 18 OCTOBER 2025 (Part Two) - HAUTE LANGUEDOC

 

Innocence.   Experience.   Transformation.

 

Clown through Mask is a groundbreaking synthesis of First Nations (Native American) and European clown traditions, that draws on the power and mystery of masks to free all aspects of your self to play. Out of these beautiful, surprising and ridiculous contradictions, your clown emerges.

 

Over four intensive weeks - typically split into two residential fortnights - each participant makes and wears their own six unique masks, integrating them through clown work and performances – 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.

Part One - over two intensive weeks, you are introduced to the fundamentals of the training in the first week - working with sound, movement, the imagination and colour, as well as exercises in the red nose. Each person makes and wears their own first two masks over the fortnight, and performs with them in their own clown turns. 

Part Two - the remaining four masks are made, worn and performed with, and we develop skills of the clown, including 'writing in the space' - how to use space, rhythm, surprises, objects and the structure of your scene to take the audience on a big journey with you.

 

This transformative method is based on the pioneering work of Richard Pochinko and subsequently Sue Morrison. It offers a thorough grounding in the art of clown, and also how to apply its insights into other theatrical and artistic forms.

Facilitator Jonathan has developed the work through his own 27-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 clown, Feldenkrais and movement at LAMDA, and has previously regularly taught at Central School of Speech and Drama, Embodied Poetics and arthaus Berlin (formerly LISPA). He has clowned in theatres, schools, hospitals and festivals in the UK, France, Iceland, Spain and Canada. Past students have gone on to make acclaimed work at the Edinburgh Fringe, Soho Theatre London and internationally. See full biog here.

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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

'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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