Maggie Irving is giving a FREE Talk and Taster session on Community Clowning, at Lympstone Village Hall on Thursday 9th October, 7 pm-7.45 pm. All welcome.
COMMUNITY CLOWNING, LYMPSTONE
“A clown is like aspirin only he works twice as fast” Grouch Marx
Fancy a spot of serious contemporary clowning? Exmouth’s Maggie Irving, clown/drama teacher, researcher and performer is running an eight-week beginners clowning course in Lympstone starting in October. This is not circus clowning, nor does it involve juggling balls and painted faces. The emphasis is on learning various strategies to clown and finding your own style.
Maggie explains, “Community Clowning involves bringing people together who want to bring more creative play, laughter and innovation into their lives or business. It involves letting go of one’s socialized masks and creating change through laughter, absurdity, chaos and the ridiculous and is appropriate for anyone who is interested in personal growth. You can be an actor or person who doesn’t have any performance aspirations; a serious or not so serious individual; 18yrs or 80yrs of age; what is important is a willingness to open up and explore how clowning connects with our lives. We can all do with more play, creativity and laughter, and from my experience, learning to clown can be deeply transformative.
People are gently introduced to clowning through games and activities, which encourage creativity and spontaneity. We will delve into how clowns deal with the unexpected and how they think and relate to the world,” explains Maggie.
Maggie has been an Exmouth resident for over thirty years. Whilst taking her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance, at Rolle College in Exmouth, a module on Popular Theatre got her hooked on clowning and from there she went on to extend her time at university for several more years culminating in a funded doctorate researching the art.
She says, “I began testing interest in clowning in communities and discovered a striking demand. At one business networking meeting, 25 out of 30 people said they would like to learn clowning, illustrating that many people are waiting for permission to let go and play.”
Research shows that the benefits of play and laughter are far reaching and that ongoing learning and creativity is good for all of us. Laughter produces endorphins, lowers stress levels and tension, boosts the immune system and can even combat pain. Young children laugh over 400 times a day unlike adults aged 40 and over who laugh around 4 times a day on average.
Play increases creativity and innovation and develops new ways of thinking. “I feel that through clowning we generate courage; enhance our strengths; rejoice in seeing and being seen, and think on our feet. Taking the clown out of the circus and theatre and introducing the art to anyone and everyone is exciting.”
Maggie has taught clowning at university, in schools, a community group and to business people and says, “I want people to ask questions; to be curious and explore what it feels like to see and be from a new perspective. It is a sensitive journey, yet for me it is empowering and liberating.”
Her own work has taken Maggie to The Tate Modern, London, The Manchester Art Gallery, Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Utrecht, Holland and various towns and cities in the South of England.
Community Clowning Lympstone, takes place Thursday evenings from 16th Oct to 4th Dec 2014 inclusive, from 7pm-9pm at Lympstone Village Hall. Numbers limited. The fee for the 8 week course is only £60. Suitable 18+.
Alternatively speak to Sharon Wayland, The Lympstone Players 01395 274551
If you are unable to attend the course in Lympstone, please contact Maggie as there will be further courses in other places. Contact Maggie if your college, business, group, village or town is interested.