Holly Stoppit
Photo credit: Paul Blakemore
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5-day Fools School

The Fool, approaching life with openness and curiosity, walks into the empty space and says, "Wow, look what I found!”


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. During a fooling performance, you may find yourself tapping into the freedom of your inner child, then your inner critic may have some things to say about this. Your inner guide may show up to help you manage the situation and so might your inner anarchist, your inner artist or even your inner hermit.

As you find your way into inhabiting the body of each part, you’ll find that some parts talk, some express themselves through dance or song and some might just want to sit quietly and be. 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 a small group of 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 will 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:

  • Get to know the parts that live inside of you

  • Explore blocks to creativity and connection

  • Dialogue and dance with your doubts and fears

  • Learn tools to safely bring your vulnerability and authentic feelings out to play

  • Develop a more sensitive, connected, alive and dangerous performance style

  • Generate raw material which can be used as the basis of creating devised theatre

  • Discover a structure for creating instant performance anywhere

Where does this work come from?

Fooling has formed the foundation for most of Holly’s performing / directing work since she began her training with Master Fool, Franki Anderson, 20 years ago. Over the years, Holly has woven in many strands of her professional training and experience, including mindfulness, dramatherapy, dance-movement exploration, playful voice work, communication skills training, creative writing, sacred clown and Internal Family Systems, to develop her own version of the form.

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

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

Who is this for?

This course is designed for both performers and people who want to learn more about themselves. It’s for a very small group of 8 participants, so that everyone gets a good amount of supported stage-time.

To apply for this course, you need to have trained with Holly before, either completing her Introduction to Clowning Weekend, her Inner Voice, Outer Voice Weekend or her Creative Clarity or Creative Resourcing courses.


Dates: Monday 1st - Friday 5th April 2024

Times: 10am-6pm each day

Venue: St Werburghs, Bristol (venue details will be sent to you once your place is secured) 

Cost: £500 standard / £460 low income / £420 in education or on benefits 

Applications: This course is booking on a first come, first served basis. There is an application process to make sure you're a good fit for the course and to gather a bit of info to feed into Hollys' planning. Application form below.

Cancellation Policy

> If you need to cancel your place before the course begins, full refunds can only be given up until two weeks before the course starts.

> Should you need to cancel your place after this date, 50% of your payment will be retained, unless your place can be suitably filled.

> For drop-outs within 72 hours (3 days) of the start of the course, your full fee will be retained

> In the event of you needing to self isolate because of suspected or actual covid, you will be able to get your money back

> If Holly needs to cancel this course for any reason, you will be offered alternative dates. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled dates, then we will offer a refund.

“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


01 April 2024 - 05 April 2024

Apply now

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