July to August 2016 (dates tba)

'A Servant to Two Masters' CMU 2008

The week long summer school courses are perfect for actors looking to extend their training, those just beginning their career and also those who like to keep trying new things and learning.  

All courses are practical and will involve improvisation, movement and devising components.  No experience is necessary although the courses are aimed at professional actors or those who wish to have a career in the Theatre.

This summer (2013) I am running four 5 day courses, two in Clown, one in Bouffon and one in Le Jeu.  These can be taken as stand alone weeks or as a package of two or three complimentary courses.


The best way to understand how to act is to play, move and explore. The way we do naturally when we, well, play.  This course takes you back to the basic things you need as an actor, a sense of fun, wonder and mischief. 
You will need: Movement clothes.  And just want come and play

This is a course in which you will find your own Clown or 'idiot', a comic persona that we will use in improvisation and to make short group and solo scenes.  This is a lot of fun and the Clown you end up creating often takes people by surprise. I have developed my approach to Clown over 13 years at LAMDA and other schools; my version of this oldest of comedy forms is quite unique and will avoid the holiness and sentimentality that sometimes goes with the word 'Clown'.  This is an essential part of any actors complete training.

You will need:  Movement clothes, a red nose and some old slightly odd or embarrassing clothes to put in the costume pot.


Bouffon is an extremely physical and high energy form of satire dating from the middle ages.  In this course the actor will create three different characters in varying degrees of physical transformation.  Each character will be used to create scenes and work on text and improvisation.  The bouffon demands a lot from the actor but is very enjoyable to perform and creates a huge sense of freedom for the actor.  But be warned, it can get quite vulgar.

You will need: Movement clothes, some kind of padding and old clothes to be used in costume pot.

A week long course costs £250, a package of two costs £450, a package of three £650

Comments from previous Summer School participants:

‘Mark Bell’s summer school was one of the most inspiring, freeing and down right hilarious two weeks of education I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. I thoroughly recommend anyone wanting to know more about Bouffon and Clown to sign up today! The two forms compliment each other beautifully in their opposition and Mark’s teaching allows and inspires an openness and freedom to create that is so necessary to these forms. A fantastic two weeks in which I learnt so much – thank you Mark!’
- Tess Zoers

‘I attended the Clown Summer Course in August 2012 and would recommend it to anyone interested in acting. Not only does this course help you find your own clown, it also helps you develop a real sense of rhythm and comic timing that every actor needs. The atmosphere is relaxed but hard-working, and the harder you work, the harder you laugh. We laughed our heads off and all had a fantastic time!’
- Melusine Lenoir

‘I would recommend Mark's class to any actor who wants to bring more character to their craft. In just one week, Mark's class helped me discover the essence of my 'clown' and channel basic, uninhibited parts of myself to make an audience laugh. The course was very well structured, fast-paced and incredibly fun. Mark's teaching is dynamic, rigorous and hilarious. I have already used what I learned in his class in my acting for both comedic and dramatic work. Plus, it's a great way to meet fantastic actors from all over!’
- Emmanuelle Vill