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Clown Workshops
A two day workshop in CLOWN & DARK CLOWN led by PETA LiLY


Move, laugh, explore the dark side!

Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September 2009, North London
This two-day course costs £80.

This course will give an introduction to and exploration of Clown and Dark Clown – the course is accessible to those who are new to clown, as well as those who wish to play, develop and explore. This two-day course is packed with exercises and improvisation in an atmosphere where it’s safe to take risks.

Day Two moves on to the Dark Clown. Performers can stretch their boundaries to experiment with the dramatic potential that lies between funniness and fear. Lily's approach gives greater awareness, control, courage and spontaneity to the performer. Wear soft clothing suitable for movement.

Book now to secure a place – email peta@petalily.com

For the venue and time of the course please scroll to the end of this email.
Clown work is a valuable support for any performer. It helps you be in the moment, keep performances fresh, be truthful onstage and brings great insight into how to engage and transport an audience.
Find your own ‘unique stupidity’. Experience the genius of the Clown. Learn the liberating rules of play. Sharpen your movement skills with extra techniques. Discover how to trigger and sustain laughter. Have fun with the magic Rule of Three.

Peta’s approach to clowning will open your awareness and flexibility as a performer and give you added confidence in improvising from scratch.
And Dark Clown? A chance to play with a darker kind of humour….an experiment with the edges of laughter….a way to create clown characters and ensembles with more edge and relevance…..a way to update the sweet and poetic image of the clown…..a way to make a more exciting and demanding rapport with audiences….

Peta Lily developed her work with the Dark Clown out of many years of working with the Red Nose Clown. Dark Clown and red nose Clown share a complete and direct interdependence between Clown and audience – there is no fourth wall. Both exploit the rules that govern the creation and management of laughter - a glorious game of tension and relaxation (just as in a game of tickling, there’s a management of fear, surprise and release).

What’s different? While the Red-Nose clown performs out of sheer exuberance, dark clown performs under a harsher compulsion. The Red Nose Clown has no past and a cartoon-like ability to bounce back. The Dark Clown has seen it all, feels it all and uses his/her own pain for our entertainment. While the red-nose clown sells its clumsiness/silliness/bossiness etc with enthusiasm, the dark clown sells its pain/humiliation/paranoia out of desperation and the need to survive. Red Nose Clown experiences wonder, Dark Clown gazes at the abyss.

Dark Clown is based on a different quality of laughter: The audience laughs, but while asking themselves: 'Should I really be laughing at this?'

Lily’s research into the darker side of laughter was provoked by a production of Pip Simmon’s ‘AN DIE MUSIK’, at the ICA sometime during the eighties. ‘Set in a prison camp, the show contained an unforgettable scene: a man with a shaved head danced strenuously while hitting his head with a metal teatray. It was hilarious and awful, at the same time. When we are surprised into laughter, we confront our own humanity. The Dark Clown provides a way to implicate as well as entertain audiences and a chance to deal with some of the dark absurdities of the world, when drama and sentiment may fall short of touching us.’

PETA LiLY is a director, devisor, performer and teacher of physical theatre. She has been investigating the dangerous comedy of Dark Clown since 1990. She mounted her first production in this challenging performance style: HAMLET OR DIE, at the Hong Kong Fringe.

'Hamlet Or Die deals with extremity, pointlessness and pain....a dark and disturbing piece of theatre built on the sufferings of others.' SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST.

The concept of enforced performance also informed a production of THE MAIDS (TRYFUSS Theatre Company, Portugal), where female prisoners are forced to perform Genet’s play for a live audience. ‘The most meaningful and truthful production of the play I have seen’ Pedro Aparício, Academia Contemporâner do Espectáculo.
Peta has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, Australia and Europe. She teaches Clown at Central School of Speech and Drama. She is currently involved in three performance projects: WOLF, THE ART OF FALLING GRACEFULLY and iN/Vocation.

When? 10am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday 5th & 6th September.

Book now to secure a place – email peta@petalily.com

Where will the workshop take place?

Tel: 020 7272 1122

By Bus
The Bus stops for the 210 runs along Hornsey Road running from Brent Cross Shopping Center to Finsbury Park Station via Archway tube station.

By Tube
Archway Tube station is within walking distance, or you can catch the 210 bus from the station to Hornsey Road. The 91 bus runs from Trafalgar Square and stops outside at Bavaria Rd.

Car Parking
The Factory does have some parking space for members and guests. However from time to time the car park does get full.


theatre practitioner & business coach

M +44(0)7960 800 607
T +44(0)20 8348 7171
@ peta@petalily.com

Current Work:

WOLF, directed by Kath Burlinson
THE ART OF FALLING GRACEFULLY by Barb Jungr and John-Paul Zaccarini
'iN/Vocation’ a solo show by Peta Lily http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=72203291377&ref=ts

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