Upper School Choice - chess

Serious Clowning Around for UAL

2nd February 24

This term, we were excited to watch seven of our Year 12 UAL students performing their Clowning Around piece in The Phoenix Theatre.

Students Ella, Libby, Ana, Elise, Amelie, Rosie and Rosy participated in workshops to ‘find their inner clown’ and worked together to devise a short performance full of comedy.

Rosie said: “We learnt about stage fighting and about different comedians, including how they worked and how we could use those techniques in our own devised pieces. There was a lot of learning about yourself and how you perform too. There’s a lot about learning to trust yourself; it took me a bit longer to find my inner clown so I really had to lean into my own ideas and trust that things would work out. It can be daunting, delivering your performance, but when I walked on and got that first laugh, it was so comforting. With Clowning, you put yourself in such a vulnerable position but when you get that first nudge towards ‘you’re doing well’, you relax and go full out.

UAL is very different to what I’ve done before. Coming here and being with students who care about drama is so nice because we’re all trying to work well for each other. We have a really nice community between us and there’s an element of trust that is so important.”

Libby added: “UAL has lived up to my expectations. I’ve always felt like I’m learning something new and have been exploring and stretching myself. During UAL, I’m pushed out of my comfort zone and Clowning was no different. We were challenged to look beyond the stereotypical clown of red nose, wigs and polka dots. We looked at how actors use different comedies depending on their audiences. You really must engage with the audience, almost like you’re searching for their approval. You can hide behind a character, but you have chosen that character, so you have to trust yourself and trust the audience will like it. You want to make sure you’re getting the right reactions – are they enjoying this? Am I doing the right thing?”

Amelie, who is also studying French with UAL, commented: “When we got the final piece, along with the music and props, it was really satisfying. We had the main group, which came together at the end, but we worked in smaller groups too because some of us were in more scenes together than others. For the final scene, we had to choreograph quite a bit as we had to throw cake at each other, and I’m really proud of how it all came together.

For anyone considering UAL, I would say it really does help with your confidence. You become really close with your group and feel nothing but support.”

We are looking forward to seeing more devised pieces from our Sixth Form UAL students over the next few weeks!


Click on the pictures below to see more, or click and drag!

Where Next?