For those looking to kickstart 2018 with a healthy dose of laughter, a pair of comedy workshops are being run later this month designed to help channel your inner jester.
Award-winning comedian Elf Lyons, who specialises in clown performance, will be hosting the workshops in January and February at the Rosemary Branch Theatre on Shepperton Road.
They will focus on the serious business of theatrical clowning in an “action-packed, fun and relaxed way”, while also teaching about aspects of stand-up comedy, live music and puppetry.
Speaking to the Citizen, Elf said: “Based on my work as a comedian and clown I have created a whole array of barmy exercises that help utilise your imagination, free yourself up and start creating routines and theatre ideas that you would perhaps have felt inhibited to try out before.
“The workshops are safe spaces to try ideas and fail.”
As well as comedy performance, Elf will also be giving advice on show production for those looking to create and develop their own solo routines for the forthcoming year.
The workshops, she says, are for “anybody who is facing creative block, who needs to open themselves up to different ways of communicating and getting confidence and love for their body and the bizarre ways we can use it off and on stage.”
Her own acts have received a lot of acclaim recently, with her solo comedy show Swan – a spoof version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake – nominated for the Best Show Award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
She also picked up a nomination for the respected Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality in 2017.
A student of French master clown Philippe Gaulier – described by former pupil Sacha Baron Cohen as “the greatest living teacher of clown and modern theatre, and the funniest man I’ve ever met” – at his esteemed Paris clown school, Elf has learned her craft from the very best.
Head over to the Rosemary Branch Theatre’s website for more information if you fancy learning some clowning tips from a professional.
The first session is called Introduction to Comedy and Clown and will run over the weekend of 27-28 January.
The second workshop, How to Build a Solo Show, runs the following weekend on 3-4 February.
Each two-day workshop will set you back £100.