Holly Stoppit
Photo credit: Paul Blakemore
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5-day Fools 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, eg the inner child, the inner critic, the inner guide, the inner anarchist, the inner artist, the inner hermit... 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.

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:

  • Learn to listen to yourself more
  • Blast through personal blocks to creativity
  • Meet your doubt and fear- dialogue and dance with them
  • 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
  • Generate raw material which can be used as the basis of creating devised theatre
  • 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, 18 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

August 2020 Fooling Summer School Dates

  • Dates: Monday 10 - Friday 14 August August 2020 
  • 10-6pm each day (6.30 finish on Friday)
  • Central Bristol Venue
  • £350 / £325 / £300*
  • *discounts available if attending multiple weeks at Holly Stoppit's Summer School 2020 - see full programme and discounts here
  • Deadline Monday 18th May
  • application form below
  • Facebook event here 

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

Will the summer schools be affected by coronavirus?

As ever, we are choosing to be optimistic! There will be an end to this and we’re hoping that by the summer the virus will have passed through and life will have settled - if that’s the case we’ll all need to top up on play and laughter and connection.

So we are continuing to accept applications for all summer schools - let’s think of them as ‘expressions of interest’, on the understanding that if things change for you or for us, we’ll let each other know.

Of course, whilst remaining positive we need to be clear that things are in a state of flux right now and it is possible that these courses may be cancelled. We will let you know as soon as we can if this happens.


“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 5-day Fools School

Central Bristol

10 August 2020 - 14 August 2020

Apply now

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