Holly Stoppit
The Clowning Out Of Chaos Conference
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Clowning Out Of Chaos Conference Programme

As we start to emerge, blinking, into this new post-coronavirus world, we’re asking:

  • How can we clown with chaos?
  • How can clowning help us move beyond chaos and create the world we want to live in?

Over the weekend of Friday 21 - Sunday 23 May 2021, we'll be offering an online programme of workshops, performances, a panel discussion and an Open Space event, to explore the personal and political applications of clowning in chaotic times.


All times listed are UK (GMT). To find out the time in your timezone, try this handy time converter.

Info about facilitators below event descriptions.

To see the full programme with pictures, go here.

To go direct to ticket link, click here.

FRIDAY 21 MAY, 8-9.30PM


An incredible, international gaggle of clowns perform a selection of unique solo clown pieces, born from their personal experiences and/or political values. 

To kick off the Clowning Out of Chaos Conference, we welcome you to the culmination of The Online Clown Academy’s six week advanced Zoom Clown course: Personal and Political Clown Performance. These adventurous students have played their way through a series of Zoom Clown courses throughout the pandemic, under the expert guidance of UK-based clown teachers Holly Stoppit and Robyn Hambrook. This final advanced course has drawn on Holly’s therapeutic clowning methods and Robyn’s rebel clown experience to support the students to create and perform their own material just for you!

Warning: this show might make you laugh, cry, or take to the streets in red-nosed rebellion!



As clowns & laughter bringers, we deserve to laugh too, right?

To bring us into a playful, grounded state ahead of the afternoon workshop, Suzy will gently guide us into laughing together. We’ll wake up the body, breathe deeply and begin to connect. 

You don’t need to bring anything except your willingness and your open mind and heart. It might be a bit weird, but don’t worry, we’ll go gently. Our only aim is to have a lovely time together.  Previous participants describe feeling energised, yet calmer, centred, motivated and creative after laughing together.

SATURDAY 22 MAY, 3.30-5PM 


A practical investigation into mindfulness, play and reflection as a support for chaotic times. Throughout 2021 Holly has been writing her Handbook of Mindful Play for group leaders, with support from Arts Council England. This workshop will draw on her research and practice, offering frameworks to explore playful approaches to embracing the beautiful chaos of being human.

SATURDAY 22 MAY, 7.30 – 9PM


Holly Stoppit will chair a discussion on the conference theme, Clowning Out Of Chaos, exploring how we might clown with our personal chaos and how clowning might be a useful way of dealing with the chaos in the world. We’ll be joined by four panelists, all specialists in personal and political applications of clowning, for a hearty discussion.

SUNDAY 23 MAY. 2.30-3PM


(details as Saturday)

SUNDAY 23 MAY, 3.30-5PM


A playful and insightful investigation into how to use clowning as a form of political expression. Robyn draws on her ongoing specialist research, informed by collaborations with international clowns and activists through her successful workshop series; The Activist Clown Toolkit.

This taster session will introduce some of the key elements of her embodied practice including clown play, ensemble work and improvisation alongside theory and historic perspectives to highlight how the clown can be used as a powerful tool for resistance and change

SUNDAY 23 MAY, 6.30 - 9PM 


The Online Clown Academy invites everyone who is inspired by our theme of Clowning Out Of Chaos 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. You will need to be there for the beginning of the session to find out how it all works, but after the first half hour, you’re free to come and go as you wish.


The Online Clown Academy (TOCA) was originally created by Holly Stoppit and Robyn Hambrook as a space for clowns of all ages and all stages of their clown evolution to meet, play, connect and share their creative hilarity during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. 

We held our first online conference, Clowns In Crisis, in November 2020, attracting a worldwide gaggle of clowns to come together to play, learn, laugh and share. It was very well received and started many new conversations and collaborations.

To book your tickets for the Clowning Out of Chaos Conference, click here


Holly Stoppit is a facilitator, clowning and fooling teacher, dramatherapist and theatre director, specialising in live, interactive, improvised and devised performance. 

Holly creates and delivers unique performance skills / self-development training courses and is a freelance facilitator / director / creative consultant offering bespoke services for professional theatre companies, community organisations, universities, businesses and individual artists. 

Holly is artistic director of solo improvisation company, Beyond The Ridiculous. At the heart of all of Holly’s work is a desire to promote creative discovery and connection through play. More about Holly here.


Robyn is a director, teacher, performer and clown. With 20 years experience, her passions lie in street arts, circus, clowning and activism. Her work is political, challenges societal norms and grounded in a deep concern for our planet’s future.

Since 2018 she has been exploring the meeting point of activism and clowning through her Masters Research ‘Small Circus Acts of Resistance’, in Extinction Rebellion protests, and on the streets with the Bristol Rebel Clowns. Her research continues online working with international collaborators in the field of clowning and activism. Check out Robyn's website.


Suzy  Harvey is a specialist in joy and connection. Over this last year, Suzy has become a pro at seeking out ways to laugh through the chaos, through online laughter yoga. It has kept her spirit, creativity, productivity and soul alive over the pandemic. Before COVID-19 she worked as a Giggle Doctor in children’s hospitals & hosted interactive, inclusive screenings of old musicals. 

Suzy’s main goal in life is to create spaces where people feel safe and confident to express themselves, have fun, be their wonderful selves and feel good. More info about Suzy.

*A note about the workshops

  • Laughter Yoga, Mindful Play and the Activist Clown Toolkit sessions are all experiential workshops - please be prepared to join in.
  • Because they are participatory workshops it's useful for the facilitators, and the other participants, to be able to see everyone - please keep your cameras on. 
  • Laughter yoga is a 30 minute journey and Holly and Robyn's workshops are 1.5 hour journeys - please commit to attending the whole session
  • Everything in these workshops is an invitation - you are welcome to adapt it to suit your body, mood and energy levels. Your facilitator will do all they can to keep you safe, but you are ultimately responsible for your own experience.

To book your tickets for the Clowning Out of Chaos Conference, click here

To stay in the loop, like our Facebook page, join our facebook group, find the conference Facebook event or sign up to Holly Stoppit’s mailing list at the bottom of this page.

BOOK A PLACE ON Clowning Out Of Chaos Conference Programme

Online on Zoom

21 May 2021 - 23 May 2021

Apply now

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