Commedia dell’Arte – Two-Day Course with Didi Hopkins

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Date(s) - Sat, 29 Jul 2017 - Sun, 30 Jul 2017
10:30 am - 5:00 pm

Toynbee Studios


Saturday 29th July – Sunday 30th July 2017 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1
Tutor: Didi Hopkins

commedia-placesThis weekend course provides an opportunity to work with a world-class teacher and performer.

Commedia dell’arte is a highly effective tool for students of all abilities and ages. It is a template that can be applied to classical text or contemporary theatre making. No previous experience of Commedia dell’arte or mask-work is necessary. There will be a half-day session on the first day to introduce participants to the Commedia characters. The rest of the course will give everybody the opportunity to improvise, explore and perform Commedia scenarios in depth.

Didi Hopkins returns to lead this course after working as Commedia Consultant for the RSC production of Love for Love (Swan Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon). Didi is one of the world’s foremost practitioners and experts on Commedia dell’arte and was a huge influence on the National Theatre’s One Man Two Guvnors, (starring James Corden) working closely with the writer, Richard Bean, who adapted the original Italian popular play Servant of Two Masters.

The highly practical two-day course gives a solid foundation in commedia, exploring masks and character types, physical storytelling, improvisation, lazzi, stagecraft, grommelot and developing scenarios. Each element of the training can be used to launch other work with actors and students. The strategies, exercises and techniques together form the ABC of commedia for the classroom and the day will culminate with the development and performance of classic two-person scenarios. Professional Commedia masks are supplied.

We shall explore:

  • Masks and Commedia character types
  • Physical storytelling
  • Improvisation
  • Lazzi – comic business
  • Stagecraft
  • Grommelot – the emotional ‘babble-speak’ of Commedia
  • Developing scenarios

NB Attendance Certificates will be supplied.


The Tutor

didi-hopkinsAs actor and director, Didi Hopkins was co-founder of Beryl and the Perils who toured internationally exploring the politics of gender through Brechtian cabaret sketches and cartoon-style physical theatre. As well as consulting for the Royal Shakespeare Company, she has devised and delivered Commedia work for 10 years for the National Theatre. The National Theatre has made five films about her practice that can be viewed on YouTube or downloaded for free from iTunes. Hopkins also uses the experiential work of the rehearsal room to work with women in business.


Course Enquiries: Please email David Farmer or telephone +44 (0)797 321 7876.

Booking Details

The standard fee for two days is £285 per participant. 10% discount is available when booking more than one course or for two colleagues from the same organisation.

NB Please complete the online booking form below with your purchase order or payment. An official invoice will be dispatched and payment can be made by cheque, BACS, international transfer or by using the Buy Now button below.


What to bring

Comfortable clothing to move in. Light refreshments are included and at lunchtime we usually walk a few minutes to eat a delicious lunch at a nearby venue (lunch not included).

Toynbee Studios

Part of the Toynbee Hall complex at 28 Commercial Street, London E1 (near to Liverpool Street Station and Aldgate East tube station) these beautiful studios are used for rehearsal by many professional dance and theatre companies. The East End of London is a fascinating area and nearby can be found the lively Old Spitalfields Market, with shops, stalls and restaurants, Petticoat Lane fashion and clothing market and the Brick Lane markets, galleries and restaurants.

Booking Terms and Conditions (including Cancellation)

Please read and accept the Booking Terms and Conditions.



Ticket Type Price Spaces
Standard Ticket £285.00

Even if more than one person will be attending from your organisation please enter the details of just one participant in the following section. You may enter further information in the final section of the form.

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