Workshops / Spymonkey Clown

Nov 06 to Nov 10, 2023
All day event

Cost £400

6-10 November 2023/ 10.30am – 4.30 pm / Cost £400 / 18 people / Toynbee Studios, London

Led by Toby Park, Spymonkey Co-Artistic Director

Suitable for all levels of experience, from novice to seasoned professional.

To Book your place

Please fill out the application form here and an equality & Diversity form here

About the course

What is it that makes you as a performer uniquely funny? How do you share that brilliant, special ridiculousness with an audience so that they are helpless with laughter? 

In this 5-day introduction to Spymonkey Clown we will focus on how to identify and develop that particular quality of Funny that is special to you, and only you. 

You will be supported to develop these comedic skills in a safe, fun and laughter-filled environment. This positive group dynamic will allow you focus on identifying and trusting your best impulses, taking risks, being adventurous, generous and honest as a performer. In this highly enjoyable workshop we will play games and exercises, developing trust and complicity with the group. You will find the pleasure in your own ridiculousness, stay optimistic, discover your comedy gold, and get ready to laugh until your face hurts. 

We will share many of the methods that Spymonkey have found essential over the years in creating Theatre of the Funny: physical games, improvisational games, status exercises, physical comedy routines, chorus exercises and parody. Toby particularly enjoys using music as a source of comedic inspiration, so we will also look at how song, dance and musicality can lead us to new and unexpected comedic territory.


“Totally inspiring.”

Lucy Hopkins performer, London/Worcester

“One of the most amazing weeks of my entire life.. My whole heart is beaming and laughing.”

Isobel Chadwick performer, Northampton

“The work has made me more aware on stage. What makes me funny, and what makes an audience laugh, what doesn’t, why am I even on stage. The work has inspired me a lot, as a performer but very much as a person as well. This is the kind of work I’ve always wanted to do and was searching for in all the other work I did.”

Bill Barberis performer, Belgium

“What an amazing week! Huge, huge thank you to Spymonkey, 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


Two bursary places are available for this course and applications for the bursary are open.

Deadline: Oct 24, 2023

Bursary applications are now Open.

Click here to apply!

For more information about our bursaries, please click here.

Course Leaders

Toby Park

Managing Artistic Director & Performer

Has performed and co-created all Spymonkey shows to date. Studied Drama at Hull University, and trained at Fool Time Circus School, Bristol, and with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneaux in Paris. From 1994-97 he was co-musical director and actor with Karl’s Kuhne Gassenchau in Zurich; member of the Improbable Theatre Lifegame company (1998-2000) including an off-Broadway run. Musical director and composer for: Guy Dartnell’s Would Say Something (1998); acro-dance-theatre Mimbre’s Sprung (2001), Trip-Tic (2003) and The Bridge (2007); site-specific pieces with Graeme Gilmour at Kielder Water Northumberland (2006) and Forth & Clyde Canal Glasgow (2007), and with Phil Supple/The Electric Estate for the National Trust at Cragside Northumberland. Appeared with Petra in Sandi Toksvig’s Christmas Cracker starring Ronnie Corbett at the Royal Festival Hall (2009). TV appearances include Cirque Images’ 2003 series Solstrom for Bravo Cable Network and BBC2 Hyperdrive.

Director of Fabulous Bäckström Brothers, a clown opera in Helsinki (2014), and Big Bang Siegfried with Hagen Philharmonic Germany (2016), Enter The Dragons for A&E Comedy (2017). Director of physical comedy for Chichester Festival Theatre’s Mack & Mabel (2015), RSC’s Merry Wives of Windsor (2018) and Tartuffe (2019) and Jack Absolute Flies Again (2022), both for National Theatre. Co-director of Orpheus in the Underworld at Vienna Volksoper operahouse opening 2023.