Hoopla Impro Newsletter

Improv Comedy Club, Shows, Classes and Workshops. Website designed by Steve Roe © Hoopla Impro 2015. Sitemap | About Us | Contact Us

Next Available Dates:

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 24th April 2018. FULLY BOOKED.

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 30th January 2018. FULLY BOOKED.

Time: 7pm - 9:30pm.

Price: £200. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £100 followed by the remaining £100 once the course starts.

Teacher: Peta Lily.

Venue: The Poor School, 242 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, London N1 9JY.

Tube: Kings Cross.


Clowning with Peta Lily

An 8 week clown course with Peta Lily.

For years clowning has been missing from improv, but no more - clown is here and happening at Hoopla! We are thrilled to announce our first clown course at Hoopla with one of the world’s most experienced clown teachers, Peta Lily!

Peta teaches clown at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has also taught at Circus Space (NCCA), The Actor's Centre, École Philippe Gaulier, Guildford School of Acting, Mountview Theatre School and ArtsEd School of Acting. Peta trained with Jacques Lecoq, Philippe Gaulier and more.

Clowning helps create joyful and playful performers. You’ll be learning “let go of the normal” and use your body in humour to play physically and create joyful theatre. You’ll also be playing with the audience and letting them guide you to increase the laughter. We’ll be playing with mime, voice, being “in the shit”, playing the flop, rules of comedy, breaking the rules and more.

Most of all Peta will be sharing her years of experience about Clown and the craft of laughter in a fun and playful way in one of our most fun courses ever!

Only suitable for people with previous improv or acting experience. If you haven’t got previous experience it’s best to do our beginners improv course first.

This course is now fully booked. Please contact us to be put on the waiting list for future dates.


Peta will be teaching the following about Clown and the craft of laughter:

- Entering into the clown state.

- Stamina for staying in the clown state.

- Letting go of the "normal".

- Releasing into physical play.

- Physical theatre skills.

- Mime.

- How to create humour with the body.

- Rhythm in performance.

- Playing with voice.

- Interacting playfully.

- Playing with each other, "le jeu".

- Buoyant energy, "elan".

- Being "in the shit".

- Embracing the joy of failure.

- Playing the flop moment.

- Rules of comedy and breaking of the rules.

- The rule of 3.

- Repetition in comedy.

- Engaging warmly with the audience.

- Fun strategies for working with the audience.

- Sharing humanity with the audience.

- Following and increasing the laughter from the audience.

- Dissolving the fourth wall between performers and audience.

Most of all it’s going to be loads of fun and lots of laughter ever week!

“Such a good clown teacher - warm, hardcore and playful all at the same time - skilled like you wouldn't believe.”

Rufus Hound, West End Actor

“The course showed me how to stay present, command the space and guide the audience. It made me aware that comedy material is everywhere. Fun, intense and challenging.”

Marina Tomasic, Course Participant

“Demystifying comedy and explaining all the rules – very empowering.”

Stewart Pemberton Circus Performer and Tap Dancer

“Inspirational – the work and your whole approach to it.”

Tony Casement Assistant Creative Director, Mercury Theatre, Colchester

“Remarkable work - creative, inspiring, challenging and satisfying.”

Graeme du Fresne, Summer School Director

“An inspiring course.”  

Julia Pérez de la Serna, drama teacher.



Q: What previous experience do I need?

A: You should have done our beginners improv course or similar amount of improv or acting somewhere else.

Q: Do I need any previous experience of Clown?

A: No, just a bit of improv or acting experience.

Q: How often do you plan to do this course?

A: Probably about once a year.

Q: Is there a show at the end?

A: No. We do have other improv courses with shows at the end though.

Q: Is this scary circus clowns?

A: No. This is clowning for comedy theatre. It is not squirty flowers and big shoes.

Q: What should I wear?

A: This is more physical than our improv courses so we suggest loose comfortable clothing and soft soled shoes, socks or barefeet.

Q: Can I do the course if I have a disability or use a wheelchair?

A: Yes. Although the course is more physical than improv we are always happy to work with people to find a solution they can play with for each exercise. We have had many wheelchair users on our other courses and have always been able to work out something with the teacher. So please contact us if you have any concerns or requirements.  

Q: What if I can’t make every week?

A: As we’re forming a team over the course it’s best not to miss more than two sessions over the course. Please don’t book the course if you’re likely to miss more than two sessions.

Q: What if I’m running late?

A: We’ll be starting each session at 7pm. Please don’t book this course if you are likely to be late on a regular basis.

Q: What’s the class size?

A: The group size is going to be limited to 16 people - small enough that you get lots and lots of practice and stage time, but big enough that there’s still a lively atmosphere in the workshop. It’ll be fun as we get to know each other and build a team together.

Q: Can I pay by instalments?

A: Yes. You can book and pay the £100 first instalment (non-refundable) and pay the remaining £100 once the course starts.

This course is now fully booked. Please contact us to be put on the waiting list for future dates.

Peta Lily


Lily teaches at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and London College of Fashion (Costume Design for Performance MA). She has also taught at Circus Space (NCCA), The Actor's Centre, École Philippe Gaulier, Guildford School of Acting, Mountview Theatre School and ArtsEd School of Acting, London. She serves as Auditions Chair at RCSSD.

As a director, recent works include Je Regrette for Sarah-Louise Young (won The Stage Edinburgh Awards 2016), Two Tongue Theatre's Boys' Club, Fiona Coffey's A Touch of Mrs Robinson. Lily recently directed and devised The Death of Fun for MimeLab Hong Kong.

This course is Red Nose Clown, however Peta is also known for her development of the genre of Dark Clown cited in Jon Davison’s Clown - Readings in Theatre Practice - Palgrave MacMillan 2013. A documentary: Taking Laughter to the Limits is about to be released. She was Dark Clown consultant for Acrojou’s Wake and also for Jammy Voo’s Birdhouse.

This course is now fully booked. Please contact us to be put on the waiting list for future dates.

This award-winning performer/theater maker is well-known for her solo career with well-reviewed shows including Wendy Darling, Beg, Topless, Midriff, Invocation and Chastity Belt. She has toured the UK, Europe, Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, Chile, Hong Kong, Australia and Brazil.

She trained with Jacques Lecoq, Philippe Gaulier, Monika Pagneux, Theatre du Mouvement, Yoshi Oida, Carlo Boso (Commedia dell 'Arte), Sankai Juku and Natsu Nakajima (Butoh Dance), and Mike Alfreds (Theatre Direction).

She teaches theatre courses including: Take It Further, Comedy Toolbox; Clown & Dark Clown.

Photo by Robert Piwko

Photo by Robert Piwko

Photo by Robert Golden

Photo by Graham Fudger