Lawnmowers: Commedia dell' Arte / Characterisation / Improvisation Workshop

Leader: Pady O'Connor

Each training session has a limited number of spaces so registration is needed.

About Lawnmowers

Formed in 1986, we are a company whose members still place themselves alongside the daily struggles faced by people with learning disabilities. The company is dedicated to the research and development of new ways of working and supports places where people with learning disabilities can explore and develop their ideas and help plan and take control of their futures. Lawnmowers work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

About Pady

Pady O’Connor is an Actor /Director / and international teacher of theatre, he trained in Commedia Dell’Arte, Mask and Comic Acting at the Scuola Internazionale Dell’Attore Comico in Italy and the Desmond Jones School of Mime and Physical Theatre in London.

Pady has worked internationally, maintaining practical and pedagogical links with performers and companies who have many diverse skills, in Africa, France, Spain, New York, Brazil creating international links through projects, workshops and Master-classes, continuously evolving and sharing the techniques of Commedia dell’Arte, Clown, Mask, and the physical movement of the body, building a strong foundation for this style to be passed on to others to continue developing for future generations of Artists.

The Workshop

Commedia Dell’Arte was born in Italy around the late 1500’s and is rooted in very physical characterisation, this a wonderful base for all theatre, it allows freedom through movement and a complete physical training of the body. Also because each characters movement is so precise there is the need for focus, this helps nurture the mind, through concentration and strengthens the body through physical exercises.

Commedia is as relevant today as in the past and is an exciting foundation for creating unique characters, animated storytelling, it is also an incredible resource for teaching theatre or helping people to express themselves verbally and physically.

Key features

  • The masks use and meaning.
  • Fixed Typologies and characterisation:- Pantalone (The Old man), Zanni and Zanya (The Servants),
  • Isabella and Flavio (The Lovers/Sweethearts), Capitano (Captain).
  • The Functions and relationships of each Character.
  • Gestures movements, and behaviour.
  • Walks, Head movements, Stances, Slapstick.
  • Rhythm and timing.
  • How to use and move within the mask.
  • Learn technique and terms such as Major, Minor, Complicite.
  • Short comic sketches using masks, costume and props.
  • Working with various Masks, full character, half mask, Smallest mask in the world.

Each training session has a limited number of spaces so registration is needed.
To register, or for more details, please email:

About Music Connect

Music Connect is a service facilitated by Sage Gateshead and funded by Newcastle Council’s Children with Disabilities team, as part of their Get Connected programme which aims to help children and young people with disabilities get involved in all kinds of community activities.

Music Connect offers free training and networking opportunity for music practitioners working in the Newcastle area. It provides training and support for those working with children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.

Who can take part?

Whether you have a little or a lot of experience of working with children and young people with disabilities, or are even just interested in finding out how you could develop your practice in this area, you would be welcome at the sessions.

Each training session has a limited number of spaces so registration is needed.
To register, or for more details, please email:

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