The Red Nose: Physical Comedy and Theatre Clown Training (Tuesdays, 6.15-9.15 PM, 18 Feb – 7 Apr)

Contact: Igne (Email)

Bristol Physical Theatre Project Bristol Physical Theatre Project

This 8 week-course is inspired by the teachings of Jacques Lecoq and is aimed at actors, theatre-makers, musicians, dancers and circus performers who would like to research, develop and solidify their skills in theatrical clowning whilst working in an ensemble.

Theatrical clowning is character-oriented and explores the dynamics of the clown’s reactions to the world which rejects them, exacerbating their perpetual failure. Clowns are social misfits: they fail to fully integrate into society and the groups in which they operate. Clowns represent outsiders who fail to understand the established order and the rules it dictates. As a result, they disrupt rules which leads them to absurd, comic and idiotic situations.

More about Ensemble Clowning here:


The aim of this course is to offer a range of tools that exercise the performer’s imagination and provide the performer with the practical performance making skills which are essential to develop a comic character/clown and build a performance from scratch.

The first part of the course will be dedicated to the exploration of one’s individual clown, shedding light on the parts of us which make us funny, ridiculous and beautiful. Through a range of physical improvisation exercises participants will research a variety of individual movement patterns, voice, rhythms, attitudes and emotions. This part of the course will revolve around the development of one’s personal clown whilst working alongside the rest of the ensemble.

The second part of the course will offer insights into scene devising techniques. During this part, participants will experiment with a few different styles of clowning: musical, melodramatic, tragic, absurd. Tapping into various forms of clowning brings an invaluable depth to the performer’s personal research. This encourages freedom, inviting originality and freshness to one’s artistic practice.

Physical group warm up (free movement, yoga, breath/voice, rhythm, complicity work)
Performance Technique (Lecoq/Laban based)
Physical Improvisation (group and individual)
Devising Exercises
Feedback/Reflection for both individual and group work


Clowning is a rich and excellent tool for actors and performers of various disciplines. It stretches the performer’s imagination and teaches to embrace one’s truthful emotions, connecting with the silly and crazy side, celebrating mistakes and fragility. Clowns do not avoid failure, problems and being caught out –on the contrary, they thrive on struggle. This helps the performer to overcome a range of blocks, for example, stage fright and stay in the here and now. Clowning encourages the performer to become more generous, playful and genuine, being complicit with the audience and other performers, finding a game and joy in every challenge they face.


DATES/TIMES: Tuesdays, 18.15 – 21.15 from 18 February to
7 April

VENUE: Desperate Men Studios (Bristol).

EARLY BIRD rate is £165 and applies until the 20th of January 2020.

Prices: £200 (full) £180 (students, low-income, everyone under 30) £165 (regular returners)

***£85 deposit to reserve a place. The rest of the payment should be paid closer to the start of the course. Deposits are not refundable. ***

BOOKINGS: [email protected]

The course is limited to 12 participants. If you’d like to attend please email a few sentences about yourself and why you’d like to do this course to [email protected]


BPTP is founded by Bristol-based performer and theatre-maker Igne Barkauskaite. Igne trained at Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and also holds a BA in Drama at UWE in Bristol. Whilst in Paris, Igne has also had an opportunity to train with Peter Brook (International Centre for Theatre Research) and Nina Dipla (Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch). After completing her two – year course at Lecoq, Igne continued her research at Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico (INDA) in Syracuse, Italy, where she also worked as a visiting movement teaching associate for the undergraduate actors’ course (2013-2014). Igne has collaborated with Sarah Corbett (The Swimmer and Very Modern), Whispering Woods, The Missing Pieces (Let There Be Love), The Edible Theatre (Church Opens the Gates), The Mechanical Animal Coorporation (UND), Panevezio Dramos Teatras (Blue Aarow), O&O Ensemble (The Way I Look), BreadKnives (Lady Like). Igne has devised workshops for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, University of the Arts London (UAL) and UWE. She is also a qualified yoga teacher (200 H YTT at Yoga Like Water).

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