The Actors Centre

Why Is That So Funny?

WHAT IS IT? This is a workshop on comic timing or rather the ways and means of playing an action for comic effect.

HOW WILL IT WORK? We'll look at devices like: slights, reversals, double takes, discoveries, setups, build ups and payoffs, techniques that are endemic in all physical comedy. You’ll practice them and apply them in appropriate situations.

WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF IT? You'll experience your ability to make us laugh through the action you find yourself doing rather than the text you’ve been given to say. You'll experience the rhythmic diversity of physical comedy and deepen your understanding of what makes people laugh.

Price: £60

Workshop tier: ALL LEVELS

For more information on the tiers, please visit


This workshop runs over two days:

March 7, 8


June 12, 13


John Wright

John Wright is an award-winning international director and a specialist in mask-work. He co-founded Trestle Theatre Company in 1980 and Told by an Idiot in 1990. More recently: The Summer House for Fuel, Dr Faustus for Third Party Productions (winner of the Peter Brook Award), The Fragility of X (winner of The Spirit of the Fringe Award) for Coal, and Lost in Blue for Deborah Newbold, (winner of The Summer Hall award). John has worked with Rupert Goold at Chichester on Macbeth, and at The Almeida on: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, American Psycho and Medea. John is currently working on Me Me Me, a clown show about narcissism, with Frank Wurtzinger. John was awarded the Greater London Arts award for his contribution to professional training. He has worked at The Royal National Theatre Studio, the RSC Ensemble and The Royal Opera House and at Ecole Philipe Gaulier, when the school was based in London. John has also taught at a variety of drama schools and conservatoires including RADA, RESAD in Madrid, ENSAT in Paris and Theatrehogskolan in Stockholm.  John teaches Mask-work and Clown at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. His book Why is that so funny? (Nick Hern Books) is very popular. His latest book, Playing the mask: acting without bullshit, which inspired this course, will be published by Nick Hern Books later this year.


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