The Laboratory of the Un-beautiful Online
A Bouffon & Grotesque Workshop
Dive into the world of the Bouffon and the Grotesque in this womxn-only 2 day introductory ONLINE workshop from acclaimed theatre-makers & facilitators Robyn Hambrook & Deborah Antoinette.
Explore the wild & satirical play of the Bouffon; rooted in mockery, parody and acid wit. As we embrace the grotesque and un-beautiful we’ll liberate our imaginations and unlock the mad & surreal! Working with these elements we’ll use improvisation based devising to create foundations for unique Bouffon & Grotesque sketches!
This workshop is designed to foster a safe space for womxn to creatively explore their physicality, voice, presence and power.
The ONLINE workshop equips you with tools for The Laboratory of The Un-beautiful DEVISING weekend with show-back at Mivart Studios, Easton, Bristol on the 17-19th Nov, more info available here soon!
During the ONLINE Laboratory we will reflect together on how social prescription & patriarchal forces have affected us. We’ll invite reflections on lived-experiences such as: sisterhood/lack-of; self-image; power; consent; perception of femininity; Maiden-Motherhood-Crone phases; as well as opening to what themes emerge from the group of womxn present. We'll learn Bouffon tools.
> Feminine embodiment: shape, movement & voice.
> The group body & collective movement (yes, it is possible online!)
> Grotesque emotion
> ‘Stuffing’/changing body shape & moving the ‘full body mask’
> Relationship to the audience
> Parody, mockery & absurdity - on social issues.
As you can see from the tools list, the theatrical form of Bouffon lends itself to an exploration of the distortion of feminine power within our cultural & political experience.
Want to create a performance which is enlivening, honest & unique? Are you ready to draw on personal & socially lived experience as material for creative expression? And as an act of empowerment for yourself and other womxn? You’re in the right place! This intro workshop is the first step, and prepares you for the DEVISING weekend, if you wish to further develop the work.
This laboratory is a creative exploration. We invite participants to draw on their own personal experience, and we’ll share our own where supportive to the process. This inner work will be source material for artistic expression. Whilst the workshop is not a therapeutic space, it is a space which seeks to honour & support your personal reflection. Deborah has trained in Systemic Constellations (Family Constellations) and both Robyn & Deborah have extensive experience facilitating theatre workshops which hold space for personal process as part of creative practice.
WHO IS IT FOR?
All who identify as womxn are welcome.
This course is suitable for clowns, actors and performers interested in broadening their repertoire and exploring feminist issues in their work.
If you’re not sure if your level of experience would support you to join this workshop, please email email@example.com and we will be happy to help identify if the workshop would be right for you.
“A must for anyone wanting to take their connection with and ideas for theatre work a little closer to a devilish cutting edge. Held so competently by both Deborah and Robyn whose professional experiences clearly came to the fore.”
“I knew I just NEEDED it when I saw the description!! I have experience in clown but I really needed something to shake me up and I'd never done Bouffon. The fact that it was centered on women, connected with themes I've been investigating and living! Exploring ourselves and the idea of femininity through play, wholeheartedly delighting in dark, sticky bits.”
“I was inspired by the obvious knowledge and experience of Deborah and Robyn in taking participants on a journey of embodied explorations! It met my need to experience a workshop that takes these topics (such as patriarchy) into the body and plays with them as a radical act that has the power to shift thinking and experiencing. I was keen to learn and engage with theatrical devices and exercises that could support these explorations, of which there were plenty here.”
“Amazing! Super exploratory, very deep, surprisingly deep, powerful, full of laughs, well held and very inspiring. I like the fact that it explored the darker stuff of our souls - not always given space in our society… I also didn’t expect to meet such a lovely group of people! ”
ABOUT DEBORAH ANTOINETTE
Deborah is a writer-performer, storyteller & trainer. She facilitates transformational workshops which invite participants to discover their unique creative voice & body.
For Deborah, stories hold the potential for deep healing, and comedy offers the possibility of irreverently unveiling the absurd ways the world can be. She digs into myths, flies with the magic of fairytale and revels in writing theatre sketches that shake-shit-up.
Her explorations of story and Self extend to the realm of Systematic Constellations - a collective healing practise which focuses on our personal stories and seeks movement where relationships and narratives become stuck. She is the co-creator of comedy show 'Queen C**t: Sacred or Profane?', movement show 'Raven' and storytells 'Inanna', 'Sacred Bees', 'Owl Woman' and more - many of which hold feminist themes.
Deborah trained at London International School of Performance Art, now Arthaus Berlin, with Thomas Prattki & Amy Russel, in the Lecoq pedagogy.
Robyn is a Bristol-based director, teacher and performer. With over 20 years experience she is a passionate practitioner of clowning, physical theatre, circus and street arts. She has a MA in Circus Directing, a Diploma of Physical Theatre Practice and trained with a long line of inspiring teachers including Holly Stoppit, Giovanni Fusetti, Jon Davison, Zuma Puma, Deanna Fleysha, Igne Barkauskaite and Maggie Irving.
Robyn has collaborated with companies including Let’s Circus, The Sexual Health Circus and Whispering Wood Folk and performed with acclaimed physical theatre companies including, Derevo, Akhe, Oceanallover, and Gappad as well as her own award-winning company, Fun in the Oven Theatre.
During the pandemic in 2020, Robyn set up The Online Clown Academy with Holly Stoppit and developed a series of Zoom Clown Courses. Robyn’s research, started during her Masters, has been exploring the meeting point of clowning and activism, online, in the real world and with international collaborators. With this drive to explore political edges of her work she has also dived back into the world of the Bouffon; training with Jaime Mears, Nathaniel Justiniano, Tim Licata, Al Seed and the grand master Bouffon-himself; Philippe Gaulier.