Freedom in Failing: Clowning and Comedy (2 day intensive workshop)

12-13 October 2019

This workshop will explore what makes you funny. We are all humorous in different ways. We each have our own unique comedic self. The clown is at its essence you, not a character you play.

As humans beings we are all fallible and it is this imperfection that gives us our humanity. We are conditioned to always be good and hide our mistakes and faults. Conversely the clown finds pleasure in being bad and does not disguise anything, as a result he finds freedom from the normal constraints imposed on us, in our day-to-day lives. By embodying the true idiotic self, with optimism and sensitivity, we can find freedom on stage, opening up the imagination to find a place of infinite possibilities for laughter and play.

The clown exists in the moment, responding to and constantly finding games with the audience and fellow performers. Through a series of playful exercises, games and improvisations you will be encouraged to take risks, be impulsive and to find the pleasure to be stupid.

On this workshop you will learn:

To follow an impulse

To get out of your head and access the moment

To accept failure and use it to great comic effect

To listen to and be sensitive to an audience

To be light and playful and to find 'the game'

This workshop is suitable for beginners and experienced performers.

"Dan creates a beautifully playful and safe environment"
Stephen Sobal, Artistic Director of All In Theatre.

"The workshop was exhilarating and fun. Whether it is clowning or indeed any kind of performance, Dan will help you seek the play and the truth in what you do"
Andrea Spisto, Infinite Experience Arts Company

Price £100 early bird before 22 September, £120 full price

Dan Lees has studied at Ecole Phillippe Gaulier in Paris and with many other highly respected clown teachers. He has facilitated workshops for The School of Laughter, the Museum of Comedy, Monobox, UCA and Mountview and East 15 drama schools. He has performed his award-winning, one man show ‘Brainchild’ in Australia and the Czech Republic and he received a Judges Award for Theatre at the London Mimetic Festival in 2014. He was a Hackney Empire and Amused Mouse New Act Finalist with comedy duo Moonfish Rhumba. Dan Lees is currently touring with critically acclaimed show The Establishment: Eton mess, a clown show lapooning the powers that be. He recently performed in Dr Browns Ensemble at Soho theatre in London, directed by Phillip Burgers. Dan has also toured internationally with Clowns Without Borders UK, a non-profit organisation who perform to children in crisis areas all over the world. He is also a co-founder of the London Clown festival and co-director of Mad Etiquette theatre company.

Any inquiries please email

Upcoming  events

Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievous Moose

Come and join the invincible Captain Cauliflower and his faithful companion Marvin on an unforgettable adventure, filled with extreme silliness and unquestionable danger. Marvin the Mischievous Moose presents Captain Cauliflower with a mystical magic hat that gives him super powers. We then follow his adventures into outer space and deep under the ocean, saving those in peril, but can he beat his arch nemesis, the evil and odorous Onion Man?


"Dan and Neil are highly skilled, hilarious and simply two of the best clowns around" (Manchester Clown Festival)

"A slick, fast-paced show for young children and families with lots of fun and giggles which certainly in our house are still being enjoyed days later. Brilliantly done. Go and see it while it is on-I cannot recommend it highly enough!" ( 

20/08/20 Haverhill Arts Centre, Suffolk, 2pm

29-30/08/20 The Warren Outside, Brighton

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