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Spotlight On; Theatre Workshops

October 13, 2016 / By: Kate Montgomery No Comments.
The Art Of Comedy, Commedia Dell'Arte

Access your inner Mr Bean with the root of all comedy, Commedia Dell’Arte

We have a broad range of theatre and drama workshops at South West Art Workshops, from an Introduction to Commedia Dell’Arte through to Stage Combat and the Art of Physical Storytelling. There’s something to encourage everyone to step into a new way of thinking and acting.

This week we delve into Commedia Dell’Arte to find out a little bit more about this fascinating type of theatre performance.

“Every classic comedy that has stood the test of time is indebted to Commedia dell’Arte for hilarious, comic character types and physical slapstick and tomfoolery.” Cheryl Parmenter

In its earliest form, Commedia Dell Arte was an entertaining way to provide comedy and amateur dramatics as part of a carnival or festival. It’s roots lay in Italian Renaissance with its striking use of masks which cover half the face, but leaving the mouth free. This influential style has inspired generations of our best loved comedians and performers.


“The most popular entertainments of the first part of the 20th century… seem closely related to the Commedia. Indeed it is hard to conjure images of the Commedia without seeing Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Bert Lahr, The Marx Brothers…or Laurel and Hardy” Mel Gordon, Lazzi: The Comic Routines of the Commedia dell’Arte

To find out more about this fascinating subject, we chatted to one of our suppliers, Cheryl Parmenter from

“The plays themselves were always improvised around a loose storyline (canovaccio), using physical theatre, simple humour and stock narratives. Actors traditionally performed without scripts, relying on a running order to decide the narrative flow and they became famous for their outstanding skills in improvisation… It is easy to see the immense value of training in this form for any actor today.”

To take a look at the range of theatre workshops we provide, please visit;!/types_mediums=73

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