Art of clowning goes to their heads

Drama teacher Sherilyn Hellier with (clockwise from top left) Philippa Elliffe (9), Ella...
Drama teacher Sherilyn Hellier with (clockwise from top left) Philippa Elliffe (9), Ella Sanderson (9), Laura Smith (12), Susanna Elliffe (12), Robbie Kinnaird (7) and Josh Kinnaird (5). Photo by Sally Rae.
There was a lot of clowning around in Oamaru yesterday.

Drama teacher Sherilyn Hellier held a workshop on clowning, at which 18 primary schoolchildren learned some of the essential skills required to be a clown.

First up were basic miming skills - "because that's what clowns are really into" - and an imaginary tug of war was held.

The children also had to pretend they were trapped in a box to demonstrate their new skills.

Next was juggling and a clown-suit attired Mrs Hellier handed out plastic grocery bags for the children to throw in the air and catch.

It required plenty of practice to get co-ordinated, she said.

Workshops were fun and the children particularly enjoyed learning about slapstick comic theatre - "pies in the face and things like that".

Teaching clown workshops was extremely physical so Mrs Hellier, who opened a drama school in North Otago in October, did not hold them too often.

Another workshop will be held today with a pirate theme and she will be ditching her rainbow-coloured wig in favour of a skull and crossbones.


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