The Activist Clown

Fri Apr 12 2024 at 10:00 am to Sat Apr 13 2024 at 05:00 pm

The Quaker Meeting House | Edinburgh

Active Inquiry
Publisher/HostActive Inquiry
The Activist Clown
Explore the powerful personal, political and poetic possibilities of clowning.
About this Event


Join Activist Clown and founder of the Bristol Clown School, Robyn Hambrook for a two day workshop exploring the powerful personal, political and poetic possibilities of clowning. This two day deep dive explores the dynamics clowning; from the deeply regenerative practice of play, presence and pleasure to the liberation in being ridiculous, transgressive and rebellious.


Join Robyn Hambrook for experiments in mischief and resistance in this weekend workshop exploring playfulness, wisdom and transformational power of the clown.

“We are clowns because what else can one be in such a stupid world” CIRCA 2006

Playing in the spaces between clowning, spectacle, ritual and activism, a chance to explore the clown as shaman and trickster, who heals and critiques through disruption.

Participants will develop skills in rebel clowning; a radical performative and regenerative form that allows participants the chance to explore political, social and environmental issues through parody, humour and play. We also draw on ensemble work, movement & butoh, bouffon and street theatre to enrich our creative expression and embody our rage and grief as well as hope in these dark times.

This is a physical workshop and an embodied practice that includes improvisations, play, flow, meditation, discussion and reflection.

The clown is a powerful tool for resistance. Their power derives in part from the unique place they occupy – a liminal space, on the fringes, a commentator, a rebel, a soothsayer, able to resist social conventions and hold a mirror up to society’s absurd mechanisms. Come and explore the clown’s regenerative and empowering potential.


Clowns, theatre practitioners, circus and physical performers, dancers, musicians, visual artists, street performers, activists and enthusiasts!

Anyone interested in exploring new forms of activism or expanding their understanding of clowning as a form of political expression.

And anyone who wants to use humour and laughter to change the world.

Then this is the workshop you have been waiting for.


Friday 12th and Saturday 13th April 10am-5pm

Although no previous experience is required for this workshop, Robyn will be running a two-hour Introduction to Clown workshop on the evening of the 11th April for anyone who would like to brush up on clowning skills before the workshop


Robyn is a Bristol-based director, teacher and performer. With over 20 years experience she is a passionate practitioner of clowning, physical theatre, circus and street arts. She has a MA in Circus Directing, a Diploma of Physical Theatre Practice and trained with a long line of inspiring teachers including Holly Stoppit, Peta Lily, Giovanni Fusetti, Bim Mason, Jon Davison, Zuma Puma, Lucy Hopkins and John Wright.

Over the past five years she has been exploring the meeting point of clowning and a deep desire to address the injustices in the world. This specialism has developed through her Masters Research ‘Small Circus Acts of Resistance’, on the streets and in protests with the Bristol Rebel Clowns and in research residencies with The Trickster Laboratory.

Robyn’s Activist Clown research has led to collaborations with Jay Jordan (Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, France), Clown Me In (Beirut), LM Bogad (US), Hilary Ramsden (Greece) and international Tricksters; ‘The Yes Men’ (US). Keen to explore the intersection of clowning and politics, Robyn is driven to create collaborative, research spaces, testing and pushing the limits of the artform to create new knowledge and methodologies for her industry and strengthen partnerships for future work.

Some of her most recent collaborations and teaching projects have included the Nomadic Rebel Clown Academy (5-day Activist Clown Training), The Laboratory of the Un-beautiful (Feminist Grotesque Bouffon Training for Womxn Theatre Makers) and the Clown Congress (annual gathering of clowns, activists & academics collectively exploring what it means to be a clown in this current era). Robyn has most recently founded the Bristol Clown School, creating a home for clowning in the South West of


“everyone was so happy, the mood by the end was so lovely, everyone seemed tenderly open, touch deeply, and physically moved - literally well stretched by the play, and also well pushed in a very safe way by the prompts, I think everyone benefited from the small safe and gentle prompts to nudge us all learning and observing more and more. Honestly loved it.”

Participant, ‘Rebel Clown NZ’

"Robyn helps me challenge myself in a safe and enjoyable space. She’s intuitive, supportive and allows me to take risks that expand my thinking and being in everyday situations. I’d highly recommend her classes for everyone who wants a fresh look at themselves."Participant, 'Clown Soup' Weekly Clown Classes

“I am taking away new games, shared leadership, the feminist approach and anti-patriarchal pedagogy and your trust in us. I have a strengthened feeling that is is possible to do political things in the street and feeling of ‘just do it!’"Participant, 'Nomadic Rebel Clown Academy'

"Thank you so much Robyn. Your clown coaching is very helpful because it is honest and direct. I thought the weekend was great and I am inspired to wear a red nose again"

Participant 'The Activist Clown Weekend'

"Robyn, you are amazing. The work you do is so powerful and important and brings together so many fantastic people. It is always wonderful and inspiring to work with you."Participant, 'Bouffon Intensive, Potsdam'

“This has been a beginner's buffet of very prompting information regarding how to use one of the world's least understood art forms to help bring attention (and hopefully bring change) to any issue we face as a community, as a world, as a people.”Participant 'Activist Clown Toolkit'


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

The Quaker Meeting House, Victoria Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


GBP 70.00 to GBP 150.00

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