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HomeNewsWorkshop programme announced for Liverpool's international physical theatre festival, Physical Fest 2017

Workshop programme announced for Liverpool’s international physical theatre festival, Physical Fest 2017


Physical Fest, Liverpool’s international physical theatre festival, is returning for 2017 with a wonderfully packed programme of workshops.

Now in its 13th year. Liverpool’s international physical theatre festival is the only festival in Europe specialising solely in physical theatre.

As part of the festival, there will be seven days of movement, clown and mask workshops from world renowned performers including: Thom Monckton- (New Zealand’s award winning Circus artist), Peta Lily, John Wright (founder of Told by and Idiot and Trestle), Sean Kempton (Clown from Cirque du Solieil) and Vini Carvalho.  Participants come from all over the world to take part in this unique experience in festival buzzing with energy and atmosphere!

Running from Saturday, 27th May to Saturday, 3rd June, the exciting workshops will be held at Bluecoat.

The programme starts on Saturday 27th May with a Physical Articulation for Comedy workshop with Thom Monckton which involves body isolation, contemporary mime, mimicry, object manipulation, and contextual improvisations. This introduction to physical theatre movement technique concentrates on the articulation of the body and interactions with each other and objects in context with movement and space to create clear non-text comical narratives and expressions. Participants will learn how to isolate movements, use personal eccentricities to a comical advantage, and how to create and break rhythm in order to create laughter.

Peta Lily will run a Get Smart, Get Stupid: Red Nose Clown Workshop on Sunday 28th May. An award-winning performer, Peta Lily shared many years’ experience working as a performer, devisor, director and teacher of clown, comedy, commedia, movement, mime skills and physical theatre. During her workshop, Peta demystifies the rules of comedy and helps people stretch their emotional range. Participants will enter the playful ‘clown state’, learn physical skills and work with the magic ‘Rule of Three’. Learn comedy craft, build your confidence and find out what to do when things go wrong.

Levantes Dance Theatre will host a workshop on Sunday 28th May. In this workshop, participants will explore fun and creative duet material, concentrating on trust, weight bearing and playfulness. Associate Artists at Greenwich Dance, Levantes creates bold, innovative work which tells human stories with flare and gusto. Its trademark visuals and stylistic choreography ensures a thrilling collision of physical theatre, dance and circus performance

Monday 29th May brings a new week of workshops beginning with Out of Body Out of Mind by Sean Kempton.Drawing from physical theatre, dance and clowning, participants will look at unlocking the body’s potential to play, be free and to bypass the sometimes over-thinking brain. Participants will also break body habits to enable themselves to make stronger, braver choices and to be more precise and connected in their work. The sessions will be fun, physical and accessible to anyone who enjoys movement in all its forms.  Sean has been working in physical theatre, circus and as a contemporary clown for over 20 years. He tours regularly with Cirque Du Soleil and is an associate teacher for NCCA.

Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st May sees world renowned John Wright lead his Writing with a Stupid Faceworkshop. This is a devising workshop and not a workshop on making masked-theatre. Participants will be using masks to change what you do and how you think. They will learn ways of making scenarios that will twist and change an original idea in order to find something entirely different. John Wright is an award-winning international teacher, a specialist in using masks, a founder member of the acclaimed theatre companies, Trestle and Told by an Idiot and author of the acclaimed Why is That So Funny?

Animikii Theatre will be running a workshop on Wednesday 31st May. Participants will be given the time to become active researchers of a deeper study into the actor’s craft that includes ‘Adaptive & Precision’ based training, how they can evolve their individual practice into a larger ensemble, engineering great change and opening new transformative possibilities on stage.

Animikii Theatre, run by Adam Davies & Henry McGrath, is e a training-based physical theatre company which fuses physical theatre with combat, dance, sound, and rhythm.

Thursday 1st June sees Jo Blowers’ workshop. Jo is an international movement/dance theatre artist in residence at the Bluecoat as part of the INHABIT project funded by Esme Fairbairn. Participants will be tuning performance skills by heightening kinaesthetic awareness, creating character through the body, exploring states of play, ensemble skills, levels of tension, energy and address in order to strengthen expressivity and relationship with an audience.

The week long run of workshops ends on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June with Vini Carvalho’s Movement as the Starting Point. This workshop explores movement as the starting point for devising. Departing from a set of specific physical exercises (based on corporeal mime), participants will (re)discover the capability of the body in expressing meaning beyond words. Participants will play at the intersection between mime, theatre and dance. Vini Carvalho works internationally as a performer and movement researcher. Teaching credits include East 15 Acting School and The Drama School Mumbai. He is Director of Fool’s Cap Theatre.

Elinor Randle, Artistic Director of Physical Fest, said: “Our workshops provide a rare opportunity to work with world renowned practitioners. Attendees will no doubt enjoy the experience of learning from and training with some of the industry’s finest practitioners!”

Tickets are now on sale – book now to avoid disappointment!


Physical Articulation for Comedy – Thom Monckton

Date: Saturday 27th May
Time: 11am – 5pm
Tickets: £45

Peta Lily – Get Smart, Get Stupid: Red Nose Clown Workshop

Date: Sunday 28th May
Time: 11am – 6pm
Tickets: £45

Levantes Workshop

Date: Sunday 28th May
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Tickets: £10 or free if you book Peta Lily’s workshop

Out of Body Out of Mind – Sean Kempton

Date: Monday 29th May
Times: 10am – 5pm
Tickets: £45

Writing with a Stupid Face – John Wright

Date: Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st May
Time: 10am – 5pm
Tickets: £80

Animikii Theatre

Date: Wednesday 31st May
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Tickets: £10 or free if you book John Wright workshop

Jo Blowers

Date: Thursday 1st June
Time: 9am – 12noon
Tickets: £10

Movement as the Starting Point – Vini Carvalho

Date: Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June
Time: 10am – 5pm
Tickets: £80


Liverpool ONE
School Lane
L1 3BX


To book a place on any of the workshops or classes, please visit: