Humour is a serious business – Rhinegold Publishing

Humour is a serious business


Comedy is a much-loved ingredient of teenage drama, both the planned and the unintentional kind of comedy. To be funny in performance is a discipline to be mastered. Humour can be both a great tool and a real problem in drama work. Either way, humour is very personal – one person’s tragedy is another’s joke.

This practical scheme is designed to teach KS3/4 learners the disciplines to use humour in a way that develops performance, characterisation, teamwork, physical theatre and devising skills.

Learning objectives
By the end of this scheme learners will have:

  • Explored a range of comic situations and characters
  • Considered ways of using humour to convey meaning to an audience
  • Developed performance, characterisation, teamwork, physical theatre and devising skills.

Scheme in summary
When comedy is well-devised and polished, appropriate, and when it strikes chords with the audience, then it has purpose in a wider drama context.

The seriousness arises in timing, mime, characters, juxtapositions, connecting with the audience, historical, social and cultural contexts, physicality, teamwork, concentration and self-confidence. The suggested lessons are an introduction, a taster of these requirements, for building drama skills/confidence during KS3 and developing them for the exam work of KS4.

Lesson 1: Call that funny?
An introduction to what makes people smile/laugh and experimenting in devised drama.
Lesson 2: If you’re serious ...
All drama needs discipline and concentration; and humour especially needs them.
Lesson 3: Give it some verbals
The spoken gag can be powerful when presented well with drama skills.
Lesson 4: Physicality is the key
Using commedia dell’arte as the vehicle, this lesson visits physical theatre and stock characters.
Lesson 5: Situation, setting and juxtaposition
The where, when, how and why of staging humour successfully for an audience.
Lesson 6: A seriously funny show
A final showcase performance of the learning from this scheme with teacher assessment.

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