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Making Physical Comedy through Commedia dell'arte

Making Theatre using Commedia Dell'Arte Image

This class is part of: Theatre Maker Classes

Commedia dell’Arte has had a major influence on comedy since its inception, from Shakespeare to Moliere to Charlie Chaplin. It is a tradition that has influenced theatre, actors and playwrights and its strong imprint can be seen in Restoration comedy, melodrama, music hall, vaudeville, circus, pantomime and in the Zanni of Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Mr Bean, and beyond. Contemporary comedy, in particular, borrows heavily from the elements of Commedia. The most notable recent example being the National Theatre's 'One Man, Two Guvnors' - an adaptation of 1746 commedia comedy The Servant of Two Masters.

Who could benefit from this course?
Devisers, Directors and Writers, especially those interested in creating comedy or adding comic elements.
Actors and other Performers who want to extend their range and ability to play multiple roles 
Performers who wish to enhance their improvisation ability
All interested in physical comedy, clowning, mime and 'slapstick'
All people who wish to have a lot of fun!

How does it work?
Learn the physicality and mindset of traditional Commedia characters.
Learn Commedia story structures, and Lazzi (comedy routines), which can be adapted for making modern theatre.
Use authentic masks and batoccios (slapsticks) though rehearsal and performance.
Learn to use masks effectively and to adapt techniques to modern theatre practices.
Learn improvisation and scenario building.

What do you gain?
The Basic ingredients of Comedy and Slapstick
The ability to feel confident in mask work and a deep understanding of mask process.
A bank of characters to be used in creating work or at audtitions.
A grounding in improvisation and understanding of story structure
A network of actors who you will work with and will most likely again.
A deeper understanding of plot forms.
After the course, you will have the opportunity to perform alongside experienced commedia performers in a show at The Cockpit - part of an international project.   http://travelingmasks.siterubix.com

Dates & Times TBC

£110.00 (10% discount for Vanguard Members & Theatre Maker Members - you must be logged in to your member account to receive the discount and places are (very) limited as the classes are small, so get booking!)



Gateforth Street
London NW8 8EH
Box Office: 020 7258 2925
(10.30am - 6pm, Monday - Friday,
12 noon - 6pm, Saturday)

Cockpit map
The Cockpit is part of City of Westminster College.

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