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Date: Saturday 6th January 2018.

Time: 11am - 4pm.

Price: £40.

Venue: Theatre Delicatessen, 1st Floor, 2 Finsbury Avenue, London, EC2M 2PP.

Tube: Liverpool Street, Moorgate or Bank.

Mask and Commedia dell’Arte with Kevin Tomlinson

Back by popular demand Kevin Tomlinson is coming to Hoopla to teach a one day workshop on Mask and Commedia dell’Arte.

Kevin is one of the leading Mask teachers and performers in the UK, and one of our favourite teachers ever! He creates such a fun and playful environment for people to unleash characters they had never dreamed of.

He’ll be teaching a variety of Mask techniques using half-Masks from Commedia dell’Arte and Balinese Theatre.

Masks unleash characters people don’t usually get to play, and create a huge expression of body, voice and emotions. The Mask characters are loads of fun and very mischievous.

Kevin will also looking at characters from Commedia dell’Arte, a form of Masked theatre from 16th Century Italy that still inspired comedic characters and scenarios in the modern day. For instance One Man Two Guvnors is a modern twist on Commedia.

All Masks are provided on the day. You don’t need any previous experience of Mask or Commedia but if you haven’t done any improv or acting before we suggest you do our Beginners Improv Course first.

New dates coming soon. Please contact us to be added to waiting list.


Q: Who is this suitable for?

A: People who’ve done some improv or acting before and want to play with Mask and Commedia dell’Arte. If you haven’t done any improv or acting before it’s best to start with our Beginners Improv Course first or Beginners Improv Class.

Q: Do I need any Mask or Commedia experience?

A: No. No previous Mask or Commedia experience is needed for this workshop.

Q: How big is the class size?

A: Maximum of 16 people, we find this works as it’s big enough to create a fun atmosphere but small enough that you get lots of time to play with each exercises.

Q: Is there a lunch break?

A: Yes there’s a lunch break around 1:30pm and also a few smaller breaks over the day.

Q: Will you be doing it again?

A: This is probably a one-off.

Kevin Tomlinson is a professional actor, writer and improviser. He has spent the last 20 years performing all over the world with numerous theatre companies and has worked extensively with Keith Johnstone (author of IMPRO) in Canada.

For five years he taught at the National Theatre and for the British Council abroad. He has also taught at various leading UK Drama Schools, including: Mountview, Arts Ed, Central, Oxford School of Drama, Webber Douglas and at the National Student Drama Festival.

He co-founded KEPOW THEATRE COMPANY in 1991 with Paul Jenkins - whilst they were both studying Drama at the University of Hull - and together they have turned Kepow into one of Britain's leading mask and improvisation-based theatre companies. Their shows are known for their mix of comedy, pathos and visual humour.

As an actor, Kevin trained on the Acting Course at Middlesex University (led by John Wright) and then at the Ecole Philippe Gaullier; before spending a year at the Desmond Jones School of Mime and Physical Theatre.

He went on to work at Northampton Royal Theatre and then worked with Trestle Theatre Company, Trading Faces, Told by an Idiot and numerous other touring companies.

As a writer, Kevin won the SUNDAY TIMES PLAYWRIGHT AWARD in 1992, for his absurdist play WHO?, which was performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs. The ROSE BRUFORD TRUST AWARD then followed for his play THE SEARCH. He then went on to work as the writer-in residence for a year at the Royal Theatre in Northampton.

Between 1997-2000, Kevin visited Canada on a regular basis to work with Keith Johnstone (author of IMPRO) and Keith's Loose Moose Theatre Company, taking the lead role in two of Keith's comedy plays; DAMIAN and THE INVITATION. Whilst there, he developed a passion for improvised theatre and performed in numerous Loose Moose Improv Shows.

Returning to the UK, Kevin moved his attention from scripted plays to improvised plays. Since 1999, his company - KEPOW! - have produced 14 such shows and toured the world. Places they have taken their improvised plays to, include: Hong Kong, America, New Zealand, Canada, Holland, Norway, Germany, Bali, Singapore and Hawaii.

Kevin's current show Seven Ages (created with Keith' Johnstone's help) received 5 star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival and a standing ovation on the last night. It has since gone on to be seen at over 450 venue across the UK and in 10 different countries abroad (on 4 separate continents).

Kevin Tomlinson

“Impossible not to fall for likeable Kevin Tomlinson's engaging, Shakespeare-inspired Seven Ages - packed houses and audience adored! Genuine popular theatre...this will sell out!” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Tomlinson reminds me of a young Robin Williams, due to the enthusiasm and electricity he exudes. You can't fail to have a good time...definitely one of the most feel-good shows around!.”  Paramount Comedy Channel

“Hilarious and heart-warming...a show that can be funny one minute and poignant the next. Tomlinson has a sharp mind and undoubted talent. Abi Hood is wickedly talented. Everyone left with massive smiles on their faces.” Martin Gray, The Scotsman

“Tomlinson's one-man show is a must see. Tomlinson put on an excellent, completely improvised, show. This was a great way to spend a couple of hours of your life!”

The Times, New Zealand