We are delighted to offer 3 Spymonkey courses in London and Brighton this September/ October.
Spymonkey Clown: 6th-10th September, London
Spymonkey Devising: 13th-17th September, London
Spymonkey Music & Comedy: 25th-29th October, Brighton
We will ensure that measures are in place to make the workshops COVID safe. We ask that you provide evidence of double vaccination or evidence of daily lateral flow tests. Full information on or COVID safety policy will be available upon booking.
Brassmonkey Bursary Scheme
Spymonkey support the development of the next generation of comedy performers. In recognition of the lack of diversity in comedy performers on our stages, we will be running a bursary scheme for these courses, to support people to participate in our workshops, in partnership with Tall Stories. The bursary places will be offered to Black, Asian, mixed heritage and other racially or ethnically marginalised people. For more information about how to apply for, or to donate to the scheme see the Brassmonkey Bursary page here.
Spymonkey Clown, London
6th – 10th September / 10am – 4 pm / Cost £320 or £300 if also booking Spymonkey Devising (inc of VAT) / 18 people / London (East End, nr Upton Park Tube)
Led by Aitor Basauri, joint Artistic Director Spymonkey
Suitable for all levels of experience, from novice to seasoned professional.
To apply please fill out this online booking form: https://www.spymonkey.co.uk/wordpress/london-clown-sept21-form/
In the Spymonkey clown masterclass, you will learn to discover what makes you funny, hone your skills and practice making an audience belly laugh! Through clear and specific instruction, you will be supported to develop and hone your comedic skills in a safe and fun environment. This positive group dynamic will allow you focus on following your impulse, being adventurous and taking risks. You will learn how to shine as an individual and improve on every spontaneous opportunity. In this highly enjoyable workshop you will play games, do exercises developing trust and complicity with the group. In this atmosphere of discovery and revelation, you will be developing and showing new material. Be prepared to find the pleasure in your own ridiculousness, stay optimistic, discover your comedy gold, and get ready to laugh until your face hurts.
Technically there are many other engines to make people laugh: status games, parody and improvisation. In Spymonkey’s workshops we will touch on all of them, creating an enjoyable and revealing atmosphere to discover the unique way in which you’re funny.
You will learn how to begin to trust your instinctive and spontaneous self. All the sessions will be about creating a fresh, trusting and highly enjoyable workshop in an atmosphere of revelation to discover you’re funny.
“What an amazing week! Huge, huge thank you to Aitor, Petra and each and everyone of you who took part in the workshop for being so supportive with a non-performer, you made me feel at home from the very beginning, which allowed me to take risks and have fun. Go Spymonkey!”
Andrea Foa journalist, Italy
“Belly-laughter, support, ideas, and real friendships. Definitely returning for future sessions. Highly recommended for those new to clowning, as well as for old hands.”
Vera Chok performer, Malaysia/London
Spymonkey Devising, London
How do you make a show from scratch? This workshop is designed to understand the process from early conception through to production.
13th – 17th September / 10am – 4 pm / Cost £320 or £300 if also booking Spymonkey Clown (inc of VAT) / 18 people / London (East End, nr Upton Park Tube)
Led by Aitor Basauri & Toby Park, joint Artistic Directors Spymonkey
Suitable for people with some workshop or performance experience of devising or clown.
To apply please fill out this online booking form: https://www.spymonkey.co.uk/wordpress/london-devising-sept21-form/
In our devising workshop we open up our creative toolbox and show you how to create material from the smallest seed of an idea, how our greatest ideas are right under our noses (if only we knew how to look), how to build a number or scene and how to keep the work fresh both in rehearsal and in performance. We look at the context of the spaces we are creating for – large and small theatre spaces, outdoor and site-responsive spaces, cabaret, variety, street theatre, circus.
We investigate the fundamentals – use of costume, props, lighting and sound. And we explore more advanced concepts – writing tools, devising games, character, group dynamics, status, narrative, dramatic structure, musicality and physicality.
Spymonkey have over 20 years of experience in creating devised shows with leading directors including Cal McCrystal, Jos Houben, Emma Rice and Paul Hunter. Spymonkey’s own directing and physical comedy work includes National Theatre (Tartuffe, Jack Absolute Flies Again), RSC (Merry Wives of Windsor), Chichester Festival Theatre (Mack & Mabel) and the Fabulous Backstrom Brothers. They are resident ensemble at Royal & Derngate Northampton.
“I’ve done three Spymonkey workshops – the first when I had just started developing a solo show. I asked Aitor about the Spymonkey approach to making shows and he said: pick three things you really want to do on stage, do them, and then the rest of the show is what you do so you can get away with doing those things. I thought that sounded like an immensely fun and liberated approach to theatre making. I watched-and-learned the process of getting performers to reveal their humanity however that might be and it was completely beautiful.”
Lucy Hopkins UK, winner Adelaide Fringe Best Performer Award
“One week of fun, incredible laughs and such a good time!! Sharing all this with a group of adorable people….I JUST LOVED IT…..!!”
Herma Vos, dancer & chanteuse, Holland
Spymonkey Music & Comedy, Brighton
Exploring how Spymonkey use music to lead us into unique and totally original comedic territory.
25th-29th October / 10am – 4 pm / Cost £320, early bird £280 (inc of VAT) / 18 people / Ralli Hall in Hove (opposite Hove Train station)
Led by Toby Park, joint Artistic Director & Musical Director Spymonkey
Suitable for students to seasoned professionals. Musical ability is not essential.
To apply please fill out this online booking form: https://www.spymonkey.co.uk/wordpress/brighton-music-application/
Music has always played a huge part in the Spymonkey creative process – we think early on in our writing about what the show might offer in the way of deliciously inappropriate original songs, musical theatre genres that we want to explore, unlikely cover versions of existing songs, speciality variety acts, original music in a range of genres and styles to inspire us to new choreographic heights, sound effects that establish their own theatrical conventions (and then break them hilariously).
In this 5 day workshop we will explore how Spymonkey use music to lead us into unique and totally original comedic territory. We will explore Pleasure: the clown’s pleasure of being ridiculous on stage, the generous pleasure of playing with our friends, the pleasure of performing music together, the pleasure of pursuing grand ambitions, of unlikely choices, of aiming high, of making terrible mistakes and failing woefully! The pleasure of making an audience laugh their socks off.
How do you start to build a musical speciality act? How do you create a brilliant dance routine? How do you write a song that will make people piss their pants? How can music unite a disparate group of performers into one vibrantly harmonic unit? (And then have it all fall apart again catastrophically?) Using the principles of clown that will be familiar to students of Spymonkey’s work – vulnerability, generosity, pleasure, optimism, complicity – we will explore all these things and more.
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A MUSICIAN TO DO THIS WORKSHOP! You need only a sense of curiosity about how far you can stretch the limits of your performing, and the willingness to put yourself into difficult situations in order to make other people laugh at you too.
If you have an instrument we’ll ask you to bring it with you. But you won’t need to know how to play it with any degree of proficiency, or to sing, or to have done a Spymonkey workshop before, to stretch your musical and comedic sensibilities in order to create new work unique to you.
“The music and comedy workshop with Spymonkey is absolutely glorious! I can’t recommend it enough. I have been teaching Drama for 12 years and this is the best workshop I have done on both a personal and professional level. You don’t need to have to able to play an instrument, sing or even be funny – just bring a sense of fun and willingness to give it a go. It changed my teaching and it changed my life. It may not change yours – but at least you’ll have a walloping good time!”
Jess Gill head of drama, St Mary’s School Hertfordshire
“As a writer, words are my ammunition. Without them and armed only with your face and physicality, it can feel strange – scary even – but under Toby Park’s magical guidance I began to push through the boundaries. With the use of funny improv exercises, discussions and musical instruments, a group of us performed songs and one man acts to a hell of a lot of laughter. I left the Toynbee studios feeling I’d shed 15 years of my life. If you ever get a chance to embark on a Spymonkey clowning workshop – be brave and jump at it – no red noses or big flappy feet required.”
Gemma Rogers UK, singer/songwriter & performer
If you have any questions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org