Holly Stoppit
Photo credit: Paul Blakemore
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Fooling Summer School

Fooling is a form of solo improvisation where you get to meet and play with the cast of characters who normally live inside your head. Some might have something remarkable to say, others might express themselves through dance or song, some might just turn up and sit quietly. The Fool, approaching life with openness and curiosity, walks into the empty space and says, "Wow, look what I found!”.

This 5-day course equips participants with the tools to walk onto an empty stage with no script, no plan and no ideas and discover and play with whatever is ready to be seen. Although Fooling is a solo form, this workshop is very much a group journey. Working with honesty and integrity, the group support each other to find an audaciously authentic quality of play. Each day there are mindfulness meditations, physical warm ups, group games and exercises to enable participants to explore different methods of accessing and embodying their own personal cast of characters. There are also lots of opportunities to play solo for each other in a safe and supportive environment.

You can use the week to:

  • Blast through personal blocks to creativity
  • Learn to listen to / get to know yourself more
  • Generate raw material which can be used as the basis of creating devised theatre
  • Meet your doubt and fear and dance with them
  • Externalise your inner critic and review the terms of your relationship
  • Develop a more sensitive, connected, alive and dangerous performance style
  • Learn tools to safely bring your vulnerability and authentic feelings into any style of performance
  • Discover a structure for creating instant performance anywhere

Fooling has formed the foundation for most of Holly’s performing / directing work since she began her training with Franki Anderson, 16 years ago. Over the years, Holly has woven in many strands of her professional training and experience, including mindfulness dramatherapy, dance-movement, voice work, communication skills training, creative writing and sacred clown, to develop her own version of the form. 

To read a bit more about what happens during this workshop, have a look at What Actually Happens During These Fooling Workshops.

Holly is artistic director of a public performance company of fools called Beyond The Ridiculous


Dates: there are 2 x 5-day Fools Summer Schools this year: 6-10 August and 13-17 August. When you get to the application form you'll be asked to select which date(s) you want to attend. 

Times: 10am-5.30pm (ish) each day

People: 8 per course

Cost: £350* / £300** / £250***
*This is our sponsor rate. It's for those who are earning enough money that they feel able to support another participant to attend for the supported rate.
**This is our standard rate.
***This is our supported rate for those who are unemployed or in full time education.


To apply for this course, you need to have completed Holly's Introduction To Clowning Weekend. 

“Deep, funny, touching, playful”

“Whenever people ask me how it was, the same thing happens: 'Boof' I say, while flinging my hands away from my head and body.”

“Holly, thanks for making the space so safe and inviting us to be so brave. I hide it, but I find it so difficult in groups and this showed me it doesn't always have to be! Fooling was a really special experience for me that I will cherish always!”

BOOK A PLACE ON Fooling Summer School


06 August 2018 - 10 August 2018

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13 August 2018 - 17 August 2018

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