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There’s an old proverb: ‘What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.’ We visit a course that’s helping people laugh again.
Mari has just finished a Clowning Around course at Life Rooms Walton. “I’ve suffered anxiety and stress off and on through my life; now I’m piecing myself together again. The clowning course is like a release; you can just act silly.”
Fellow participant George agrees. ”You lose your voice when you become ill. I’m actually shy, but I thought ‘I’m going to get the chance to laugh’… I needed to laugh again.
“The course was like a bit of sunshine that carries on for the rest of the day. I even cycled home in my red nose, everyone was laughing at me – including myself!
“Since I’ve done this and other courses I’ve started a job that’s demanding and further from home, but instead of hiding away I get involved.”
Tutor Hanna says clowning gives people permission to let themselves go.
“Putting on a red nose is like having a mask – it’s not you anymore. We draw on personal experiences to create a persona, use the characters to develop a simple plot and perform it at the end of the course. We hardly stopped laughing!”
The course was like a bit of sunshine that carries on for the rest of the day.