Coming up: Slapstick Workshop with Tim

SLAPSTICK: The Gentle Art of Breaking Your Face.

Rather than stupid comedy, good slapstick involves a precise dance of circumstance, motivation, physicality and timing.

This workshop is for actors to increase their physical performing skills, knowledge of how ‘slapstick’ works, clarity, comic timing and reactions.

We will explore: movement principles of slapstick, learning to fall safely, trips, slaps, pratfalls, the ‘set up’, comic timing and sequencing moves in a routine.

When: 10-6, 31st May 2014

Where: G25, Arts Complex, 151 London Road, Edinburgh.

Cost: £45 (£40 for Equity Members)

For further information and to sign up, please contact Dani via email dani(at)


Other workshops available on request:


Weekend intensive in Theatre Clowning with Plutôt La Vie

Practical Techniques of Stupidity…a research into the Absurd, for serious performers.

Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.  Peter Ustinov

This workshop is for performers who want to develop their skills and understanding of the ‘Personal Clown’ as developed by Jacques Lecoq, Pierre Byland and Philippe Gaulier. Clowning is a ‘primal state’ for a performer.  It is a state of being open, curious, relaxed and playful.  Comfortable in the pleasure of not knowing, without fear of failure.  Good comedy exists in a relationship with an audience. It is the beautiful, frail, proud, ridiculous humanity of the performer and the truthfulness of the moment, rather than an idea or gag that makes an audience laugh.

We will create a supportive environment to explore, focus and sharpen performance skills used in Theatre Clowning: Comic Timing; Physicality; Rhythm (internal rhythm, rhythm with partners). Participants will explore a direct playful relationship with an audience and begin to develop their ‘personal clown’.

The Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement will be used as a warm up and basis of physical exploration into the world of Clown.

There is a limit of 15 places in the workshop.

BOUFFON Set Your Ugly Self Free

A weekend intensive in Bouffon with Plutôt La Vie

Clowns look for the love of the audience. Bouffons don’t give a sh*t.

Bouffons are the lowest of the low.  They have nothing to lose, so are completely Free.  Their Freedom is a huge power.  Their weapons are their enormous laughter, intelligent eyes and biting parody.

Social misfits, shunned and feared for their apparent physical, mental or social ‘deformities’.  Bouffons embrace their ugliness and bless their hideous form for saving them from the hypocrisy of ‘God’s beautiful children…’.  Outcasts of society, their performance is a vicious parody of the ‘great and good’ people who have excluded them.

Their only fear is to be killed before their parody has hit home…

This workshop is for performers who would like to explore the territory of Bouffons, described by Jacques Lecoq as those who “… believe in nothing and make fun of everything.”  The position of Bouffon can be an incredibly liberating and powerful experience for actors.  Bouffon explores a great freedom of breaking beyond social conventions and accessing extreme levels of laughter, intelligence and emotion.

Technically we will work with:  Complicity, Bouffon Chorus, Emotional Freedom, Laughter, Bouffon position / relation to the audience and Parody. Participants will explore rhythms of a different / ‘fantastic’ body (grotesque, deformed, ugly).

The Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement will be used as a warm up and basis of physical exploration into the territory of Bouffon.  Though participants will be encouraged to work at their personal level, please note that Bouffon play is extremely physical and can require much stamina.

Ongoing Education Programmes

Laughter & Learning - Workshop programmes

Plutôt La Vie is committed to offering enhanced experiences to audiences.  We have devised detailed workshops designed to be flexible and take in the specific needs of groups at each venue.  We believe passionately in providing educational experiences to enrich people’s lives and enhance our audience’s experience of our work.  We strongly support the idea of ‘lifelong learning’ and enjoy adapting our educational work to meet the needs of different age groups in many settings.

Laughter is a central aspect of Plutôt la Vie’s work.  Often discounted as frivolous, laughter is a profoundly human experience.  Laughter cuts across political, ethnic and cultural barriers. It is “the most democratic of all facial expressions.” In laughter, people are not alone, not isolated, not separated, but united. Individuals coming to a theatre become an audience, and in laughter an audience becomes a community.

An Education & Outreach programme will accompany By the Seat of Your Pants. This will help to develop new audiences and enhance their experience of our work. We will offer two unique workshops adaptable for school, youth and community groups, as well as adult community and professional drama groups, teachers, training staff and other facilitators. The exploration of the physical basis of communication and expression can have profound effects upon self-confidence, learning, and creativity. We use techniques of ‘guided discovery’ drawn from our background in creative play, improvisation, visual art and the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement. Plutôt la Vie’s performances illustrate and compliment the practices promoted and explored in our outreach programme.

Laughter and Learning Workshop Participants

Don’t Look Down! – Physical Comedy, Laughter & Creativity

A Performance Skills Workshop for Schools, Youth & Adult Community Groups

Good comedy exists in a relationship with an audience.  In many ways, Clowning is a ‘primal state’ for a performer.  It is a state of being open, curious, playful and relaxed, without fear of failure.  Ideas come and go easily in this state of play – revealing desires, hopes dreams.  It is the beautiful, frail, proud, ridiculous humanity of the performer and the truthfulness of the moment, rather than an idea or ‘gag’, which make an audience laugh.

The techniques and ideas we explore in this workshop are drawn from the areas of Improvisation, Theatre Clowning, and the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education. They are beneficial to young performers, but also to groups wishing to build the confidence and skills of their members and to enhance cooperation and group dynamics.  When possible, we adapt this workshop for families in  community settings.  The session is adjustable to suit the needs of particular groups and can be adapted from 90 min. to 1 day.

Practical enrichment for participants:

  • An understanding of Physical Comedy
  • Increased confidence in their natural physical skills
  • An understanding of how to transform vulnerabilities into dramatic strengths
  • A rejuvenated sense of creativity, fun and lightness in their theatre, group or educational work

Creativity, Laughter and Learning participants

Creativity, Laughter & Learning – Performance Techniques for Lifelong Learning

Our performance work has shown us links between Creativity, Laughter and Learning.  We find these links inspiring, delightful and essential in our creative work. The physical state engendered by laughter is also an ideal state conducive to learning.   Developed as a workshop for teachers, Creativity Laughter & Learning is adaptable for adult community groups and professionals of many disciplines (theatre practitioners, teachers, training staff and other facilitators).

Specifically for teachers:

Using exercises drawn from performance, visual art and the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement, teachers gain a fresh perspective on ‘habits’ (physical, intellectual, pedagogical).  They will explore perspectives of creative play that can ‘reframe’ their conceptions of creativity and learning. Techniques, strategies and exercises will be explored that can translate directly into classroom work. Most importantly, the workshop offers teachers an opportunity to refresh and develop their own creativity and inner resources.  This creative enrichment can affect all aspects of their classroom activities.

Creativity Laughter & Learning offers teachers:

  • A break from their routines to gain a fresh perspective on their teaching practices
  • An opportunity to tap into, refresh and develop their inherent creativity.
  • To challenge and refresh themselves as educators in a position of learning, rather than leading.
  • An introduction to techniques of performance and creative play, and guidance in their use, as methods of interaction for the classroom as well as tools for continuing professional development. The techniques are complementary to educational methods used in the classroom

The Feldenkrais Method - Awareness Through Movement

The Feldenkrais Method is a way of learning about movement, posture and breathing that can have profound effects on a person’s well being, self-image and capacity to improve.  Through Feldenkrais people learn to increase ease and range of movement, improve flexibility and co-ordination and awaken their innate capacity for comfort and pleasure.  More information about the Feldenkrais Method is available online at

The Feldenkrais Guild UK

For more information on any of our workshops and to book please get in touch.