World renowned New Zealand and Australian clown teacher, Alan Clay's book on clown,
Angels Can Fly, is now available for the
Kindle, iPad and Kobo readers, as well as in
Released in 2005, Angels Can Fly has gathered
a dedicated following amongst professional clowns and
would-be performers for its insight into the
practical aspects of performing as a clown. See the
The book is
now in use in the drama departments of over
200 Australian, New Zealand and American secondary
schools and is a recommended text in clown courses in a growing number of US and UK universities. Check out the
Angels Can Fly
page for a review of the book from Mask
- the Journal of Drama Victoria.
This is a textbook
for a fast changing art form. The traditional
approach to teaching clown is routine or gag based
and this sits uncomfortably with teaching practices
in modern performing arts education and with today's
Buy the paperback on Amazon
Angels Can Fly
has been released for
Amazon's Kindle Reader.
This is available for
all mobile devices
Blackberry, iPhone, iPad
and Android phones, as
well as for the Mac and
Buy the Kindle edition
for US$7.69 from
Can Fly has been released for the Apple iPad and can be purchased through the iBooks app at iTunes.
can also be purchased for the Kobo reader
or Angus & Robertson.
"The Angels Can
are my recommended way to read
this book, because you can search the text and the
exercise prerequisites and co-requisites are linked for easy reference. The paperback
however does include over 70 photographs." Alan Clay
The book includes a
mix of fiction, following the adventures of ten
clown characters and some personal clown anecdotes from
clowns from around the world, including US clowns
Hilary Chaplain (pictured above) and Drew Richardson
It also includes some theory on the
nature of modern clown, as well as 50 practical
clown exercises appropriate for workshops or
performance, developed by Alan Clay through 30 years of
teaching in Australia, Europe, America and New
of these exercises have been posted on this site and
you can find links to them below.
There are warm-up
and introductory exercises in the early chapters of
mid-session or mid-course exercises in the middle
chapters, and more performance-oriented exercises,
and relaxation exercises, in the final chapters.
Specific prerequisites to any exercise are detailed
in each chapter. The exercises have all been coded
for individual exploration, for work in pairs,
for workshop use, or for use in a performance
setting, or for some combination of these.
“Clown is a
fascinating, diverse, complex and exciting art form,
which has existed around the planet for thousands of
years. Like any art form it has to evolve to stay
relevant to the culture nurturing it, and at the
same time, and by its very nature, clown teases and
turns upside down the cultural patterns and
boundaries around us.”
If you'd like to view
a preview of Angels Can Fly from Google Books, click
Buy the paperback on Amazon
Alan was born in 1954
in New Zealand. He attended a Clown School in Sweden
in 1977 and has since taught and performed
extensively in Europe, North America, Australia and
New Zealand. Alan lived in Sydney from 1992 to 2006,
where he ran Playspace Studio, a physical theatre
training centre in Newtown, which gained
international recognition for a uniquely irreverent
Australian approach to clown.
Following this, for
several years Alan toured a 5 day workshop
throughout Australia and North America and for the
past 3 years he has been teaching 5 day residential
clown retreats in Wanganui, New Zealand. Throughout
this period he has been exploring and developing his
training has a physical and emotional focus, and
encourages a theatrical and irreverent approach
to the art form. Alan is now launching a new
3-week Clown Summer School to be held in
Wanganui in January 2012.
Libraries in Australia, New Zealand
Angels Can Fly is
in many libraries in Australia, New Zealand
and USA. Check with your
library to see if they have a copy.
Michael C. Getlan "caring clown" This is a terrific book, and
should be read and used frequently. The stories
about the real clowns are inspiring and the
exercises are practical and important, especially if
you are serious about exploring the clown in you.
Julie A. Wright "Jewls" This
unusual book has a lot of good character
development, audience interaction exercises. It is
also a novel about street performers and includes
several entertainers biographies all mixed together.
For a vary enjoyable educational read.
not check out Alan Clay's new
Moontan, which was shot last year in Wanganui, New Zealand, staring Annette Devick from Canada and Mark Hudson from Australia,
can check out the
clown workshops that Alan is
teaching in the next few months in New Zealand and
Australia, or read
the Angels can Fly - Blog, which tells the inside story
of the publication of Angels Can Fly, and where you can
also find many of the exercises and the anecdotes
from the book.
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