International circus performer gives class in Wanaka


Mount Aspiring College pupils had a chance to flex their funny bones with circus performer Thomas Monckton last week.

The workshop was an introduction to physical theatre with a slant towards comedy.

''It is basically introducing the kids to physical expression, so non-verbal performance.''

Physical comedy in theatre followed the same comedy rules of timing, tension and surprise, ''all those things that cause us to laugh''.

''It is applicable universally, and we are just applying that to physicality.''

Thomas Monckton leads Mount Apsiring College pupils in class on physical theatre.
Thomas Monckton leads Mount Apsiring College pupils in class on physical theatre.
His physical theatre replaced words with movement to convey meaning, and the workshop was an opportunity for pupils to learn how to feel comfortable working with their bodies on stage.

Building tension was illustrated by a simple exercise where pupils were asked to clap after Monckton had clapped.

By varying the pause before he clapped the tension built in the room.

''So the tension kept on going up and up, and when we finally clap it releases the tension, and it causes a little bit of laughter,'' he said.

''Surprise, tension, rhythm, these are all things that create laughter.''

Originally from South Taranaki, Monckton has travelled the world with his highly regarded shows that are comic combinations of circus clown and physical theatre.

Now based in Helsinki, Finland, Monckton was one of four New Zealand expatriates who went through managed isolation and quarantine in order to take part in the Festival of Colour.

Monckton performed his latest solo show The Artist to sold-out audiences on Saturday last week.

 

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter