Comedy and circus skills workshops for all the family at Exmouth Festival

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 May 2019

Exmouth Festival. Ref exe 22 18TI 4462. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Festival. Ref exe 22 18TI 4462. Picture: Terry Ife


Learn to make people laugh, spin plates or balance on a tightrope, at these fun family sessions where you become the entertainer

Exmouth Festival. Ref exe 22 18TI 4470. Picture: Terry IfeExmouth Festival. Ref exe 22 18TI 4470. Picture: Terry Ife

You expect to be entertained at a festival, but the prospect of developing your own skills as an entertainer might not spring to mind.

But that's what's on offer at Exmouth Festival, with workshops on comedy and circus skills.

The comedy workshop is run by Dr Maggie Irving, an Exmouth-based performance coach and teacher. She believes clowning is valuable as a communication skill, and that it also re-connects people with the playful qualities they had as young children.

Participants at Maggie's workshop will be invited to work individually or with a partner, finding ways to express themselves that create humour. She encourages participants to share their ideas, and gives them pointers on comedy techniques.

"Based on past experiences, they should learn tips on comedy writing and performing, and have a laugh," she said.

The workshop is aimed at the whole family and is suitable for all ages, although Maggie says children of school age and above will get the most out of it.

"Although I once had an 18-month-old who loudly interjected with the word 'horses' when asked for his opinion," she said. "The more he did it, the funnier it became. Repetition is a great comedy tool!"

Family Comedy Workshop with Dr Maggie, Friday May 24, 6.15pm, in the Big Top.

The circus workshops take place between 11.30am and 3pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, also in the Big Top. They are run by well-known Exmouth entertainer Ben 'The Juggler' Cornish, who is also opening the festival with his show on Friday afternoon.

"We like to promote them as a family activity rather than just for children because it is fun for everyone!" he said. "People can improve their co-ordination, concentration and feel a great sense of achievement when something works, whether it's getting across the tightrope, spinning a plate, keeping a hula hoop going for a minute, etc

"We think it's great for the kids to see their parents struggling with something, and great for the parents to see their children getting the hang of something new."

There is also a circus show each day at 4pm in the Big Top. Saturday's show features Spangles the Clown, Sunday's star is Angie Mack, one of the country's best hula hoopers, and on Monday Dan the Hat takes to the stage with his Comedy Stunt show.

For full details about Exmouth Festival, visit

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