Home / Event / THE DEATH OF AN ELEPHANT – Scripted Clowning Development Workshop  – a 3-day intensive course

THE DEATH OF AN ELEPHANT – Scripted Clowning Development Workshop  – a 3-day intensive course

Image: Farzad Sedaghat

Facilitators: Vivian Gladwell & Cameron Sievers

Course Overview: This intensive workshop offers experienced clown actors a unique opportunity to collaborate with a playwright and his work in the development and staging of a scripted farce through clowning improvisation. Participants will engage in a creative process designed to enhance and complement scripted material, ultimately aiming to create a cohesive and dynamic professional production.


  • Collaborative Staging: Work closely with the playwright to enhance and complement a scripted farce and bring it to life through the art of clowning and improvisation.
  • Showcase Original Work: Develop and present a sample of the playwright’s original, unproduced script, providing a platform for new and innovative theatrical work.
  • Documentation: Capture the workshop process through filming, recordings, and photos to aid in securing funding and support for a full professional production in Phase Three.

Who Should Attend: This workshop is designed for experienced clown actors who are looking to expand their skills in scripted performance and collaborative theatre-making.

Join us for this exciting phase of development as we blend the art of clowning with the precision of scripted theatre to create something unique and original that will showcase the role of clowning as a tool for informing an author’s work and challenge and excite actors, directors, and audience members alike.

Dates: August 26 – August 28, 2024
Starts: Monday 10 – 18:00
Tuesday: 10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday:  10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday – Evening performance:  19:30 – 21:00

Synopsis of the play

The Death of An Elephant, written by Cameron Sievers (2009), is an absurd two-act comedy of vengeance in which a tenant – a sculptor – is usurped and invaded by all and sundry for a range of reasons during what is, ostensibly, a house inspection. The tenant is desperate to convey to the real estate agent the existence of an odour (cat’s piss). However, the rights of the tenant are never heard, and he is instead caught up in a ludicrous and ever-intensifying spiral of agendas from a series of ‘main characters’ including, among others, a lover that he’s barely met, a salesman that would sell him a door knocker he doesn’t want, a vile pair of prospective house buyers, the mysterious Carlos who saws wood as therapy for the disappearance of his elephant, a detective leading the investigation into the elephant’s whereabouts, and of course the real estate agent who has threatened a rent increase on account of the free inspiration the tenant receives from the plastic coat hangers strewn throughout his living room. Although the play is a nightmarishly comic take on the dwindling rights of tenants in a landscape of housing shortages, gentrification, and real estate obsession (symbolically captured by this raft of usurpers who steal the tenant’s porridge and spill it throughout) – this tenant is by no means innocent. Frantic, and in keeping with the play’s farcical lines and motivated nonsense, he confesses to the slaying of Carlos’ elephant as part of a plea bargain to resolve the issue of the cat’s piss – but what are the noises emanating from his studio, and why is he desperate to halt the inspection at its door?

Course limited to 10 people


Vivian Gladwell

Vivian is the founder and director of Nose to Nose and has given hundreds of workshops around the world. He lives both in the UK and France where he started clowning in 1978. He speaks French and English fluently.
Vivian began teaching in 1988 as part of the Lifeways Festival at Emerson College – UK. He trained as a facilitator with the Bataclown in 1990 and joined their team in 1991 also working as a modern day Court Jester (Clownanalyst).
He created Nose to Nose UK in 1990, Nose to Nose of North America in 2006 and Fool View, the Social Clowning group and has trained facilitators in the UK, the USA, Germany and Italy – view history.
He continues his role as ambassador for the work by researching the applications of clowning in the context of teacher training, medicine, conflict management, ecology and intercultural work in many countries (South Africa, USA, Senegal, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Italy, Germany, Norway…)

He holds clowning as a social playground for exploring our humanity.

Cameron Sievers
Cameron has been writing and directing for twenty years. In brief, his work has been shortlisted (Committee – The Bush, 2013), long-listed (Leske’s Method – Papatango Playwriting Award / Southwark Playhouse, 2017), and staged by UK theatres (Dogs – Tristan Bates Theatre, 2013). In 2013, he completed an MA in Theatre Directing in London. Combined, Sievers has brought more than thirty plays to full production in eighteen shows in Australia. Nothing About Anything at Meat Market (2021) and the production of Leske’s Method (2022) and The Gist (2022) at Bard’s Apothecary are career highlights. He completed The Beige Tower Requiem, his first novel, in 2023. Outside of his own material, milestones include directing Pinter’s The Birthday Party for Melbourne University (2009) and Medea: A Reasonable Woman, a self-devised courtroom drama, at La Mama Theatre (2018). Visit the-sticking-place.com for more information.

Course fee – £295

Venue: Emerson College

Step 1 – Book this course

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Step 2 – Accommodation

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To book a course follow the link Click here to book… above. You will see on the form whether there are available places.  Submit the form with your details and we will let you know how to proceed with payment of your deposit. Your deposit is REFUNDABLE  MORE than 2 months before the start of the course. There is a £40 admin fee for refunds.  If the course is cancelled your deposit will be refunded in full.

Deposits are paid  online.

NOTE: Your place can only be confirmed after we have received your deposit. As the fee quoted usually only covers the course fee, please check you know the total cost of the course (course fee + accommodation and meals).

Once your deposit has been accepted, we will notify you to confirm your place on the course.
You are booked on the course
ONLY when Nose to Nose confirms your place.

If you have questions or problems, email us at nosetonoseoffice@gmail.com
If full email us at nosetonoseoffice@gmail.com to go on our waiting list. We’ll let you know when a place becomes available.


Q: Can I talk to someone? A: Yes, just send an email with your phone number to nosetonoseoffice@gmail.com and we’ll call you as soon as we are free to do so.

Q: Are there still spaces available on the course? A: Just click on the link Click here to book… above. You will see on the form whether there are available places.

Q: Can you put me on the waiting list? A: Sure, just click on the link Click here to enquire and fill the form. We will put you on our waiting list and let you know when a place becomes available.