Clowns In Crisis Conference

Oct 05 2020

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Image: Jeremy Fennel / Graphic design: Robyn Hambrook

The Online Clown Academy is delighted to present the Clowns In Crisis Conference, 6 - 8 November 2020. 

We are asking: How Can Clowning Help You and How Can Clowns Help Others In Times Of Crisis? 

Watch the video to hear Professor Patricia (Holly Stoppit) and The Punk (Robyn Hambrook) talking about the Clowns In Crisis Conference:

Clowns have long-since left the circus ring and spilled out into many different environments. These days you'll find clowns in hospitals, offering comfort and release to poorly children and their families, you'll find them in areas of recovery from war and natural disaster, offering laughter and play, you'll find them in dementia care settings, offering gentle connection and you'll find them on the streets, protesting.

Clowns appear throughout history and across cultures, as the fool, the buffoon, the idiot that speaks truth to power. It is from this unique position in society that the clown can critique and disrupt the status quo. The form allows us to explore political, social and environmental issues through play, parody and humour while releasing subversive powers within each individual.

As clown teachers, we're increasingly finding people coming to our workshops not because they want to be clowns, but because the clown archetype offers lightness, release, play, connection and a completely different way of viewing the world.

The Clowns In Crisis Conference offers opportunities to explore the personal and political applications of clowning.

We have a mix of free / donations-based events and paid-for workshops. All events are ticketed as places are limited, please click on the individual links beneath each event for more info and tickets.


Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Graphic design: Robyn Hambrook


Friday 6th November 8-9.30pm (UK time)

Holly and Robyn welcome you to the culmination of our six week Zoom Clown course; Personal and Political Clown Performance. We have been guiding a group of international clowns through an exploration of how to create clown theatre from personal experiences and / or with political intent and here's the result!

Free / donations

Ticket link here.


Saturday 7th November 3-5.30pm (UK time)  THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT

A practical investigation of how clowning can help you in times of crisis. Drawing on her MA dissertation research, which brought together clown skills training, mindfulness and dramatherapy to create Clown-o-therapy,  Holly will lead you through an exploration of how clowning can be of benefit to your mental health.

To find out more about Holly’s work and to see her Bristol TEDx talk, have a browse through this website.

£20-£60 pay what you can

Ticket link here.


Saturday 7th November 7.30 – 9pm (UK time)

We'll be joined by panelists who specialise in both personal and political applications of clowning for a hearty discussion. Our panelists are:

● Rachel Caine (Sacred Clown healer)

● Faith Tingle-Bartoli (Clown performer, Giggle Doctor)

● Hilary Ramsden (Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army)

● Sabine Choucair (Clown Me In, Beirut)

More about the panelists here.

Free / donations

Ticket link here.


Sunday 8th November 2.30-5pm (UK time) THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT

In this exciting co-lab Robyn Hambrook (Bristol Rebel Clowns, The Online Clown Academy) is joined by Hilary Ramsden (Clandestine Rebel Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, UK) and Sabine Choucair (Clown Me In, Beirut) .Three rebel clowns lead a practical exploration of the role of the clown in times of crisis and the political applications of clowning.

£20-£60 pay what you can. 

ticket link here.


Sunday 8th November 6.30 - 9pm (UK time)

The Online Clown Academy invite everyone who is called to discuss clowning and crisis to come together in an Open Space Session. Open space is a wonderful organic conferencing system where whoever turns up sets the agenda. After an introduction to Open Space Technology, we’ll be opening the Zoom breakout rooms, so that you can have a chance to split into small groups and explore whatever feels most relevant to you, personally or professionally.  

Free / donations

Ticket link here.


The Online Clown Academy was set up by UK based clown teachers Holly Stoppit and Robyn Hambrook, during the coronavirus pandemic. Holly is originally from a circus and street theatre background and has since trained as a dramatherpist, she specialises in clowning for adult mental health. Robyn is a physical theatre performer, community circus practitioner and leader of the Bristol Rebel Clowns.

Robyn and Holly decided to organise the Clowns In Crisis Conference so that they can explore where their two worlds overlap and to meet others who are playing with personal experiences and political resistance through clowning. 

To find out what the media is making of this event, click here.

To find out more about the Online Clown Academy, read this blog.

Like our facebook page here.

Join our facebook group for access to an archive of free online clown workshops here.  

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