← Back to workshops list


28 January, 2020  → 1 February, 2020 - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA



The word Bouffon comes from a latin verb: buffare, to puff, to fill the cheeks with air, to deform oneself, to swell in  order to provoke laughter. It seems to be a very old human practice. In fact, bouffons are direct descendants of the satyrs from Ancient Greek Satyric Drama. The actual word "Bouffons" comes from French and it entered English theatrical language through the work of Jacques Lecoq

The essence of the Bouffon is in the dynamic of MOCKING.
The MOCKER is a specific role, existing in all human societies. Bouffons represent elements of their society in an amplified, distorted or exaggerated way, thereby provoking laughter and outrage.
Their Mockery doesn't have an agenda in itself, because the Bouffons don’t have opinions, and they don’t protect any side from their mocking. They just mock everything and everybody. Their purpose is to have fun playing at being humans and therefore they use everything they find, with  ferocious ecstasy and jubilation. This is their power: they see and play with everything, they feed on human dynamics in order to play with it.

Bouffons never touch on individual or private themes, instead they take on big collective movements –  involving the social complexity and  the very essence of society and culture. Politics, religion, economy, power, money and finances, morality, war and the military, science,  gender and race, ecology, family, education and school, cultural institutions…


For Bouffon work to be possible, we need to be very well and precisely informed about the situation or themes that we are mocking,  in order to see and then reveal what is hidden, what lies underneath –  on the other side, in the shadow or the unspeakable. Nothing can be invented – all the movements and dynamics are documented and are based  in authentic behaviors.

The actors need to collect facts, not opinions. Bouffons have no opinions or values. Actors, directors, writers and members of the audience do. That's why, as a theatre genre, Bouffon is often very provocative, because its very nature is to bring hidden things to the surface and to unmask the collective games lying behind events. This often includes the fact that the role of oppressor and victim are always intertwined.

Everybody in the audience gets scrambled by a bouffon piece, which can be often a bit difficult and or even unbearable. It’s not the  Bouffons who are unbearable but the truth that they reveal about  humanity, what is hidden, what lies underneath, on the other side, the grotesque of human society (grotesque comes from greek cryptos =  hidden). 

http://www.giovannifusetti.com/public/image/PAZX1.jpg (3)


- Play, action/reaction and fun
- Flocking and collective movements: the shapeshifting chorus
- Engaged Madness
- From children playing to Bouffon games
- The Bouffon “state” and the mocking eyes
- The grotesque body: amplification, deformation, swelling and puffing
- The white bodies  
- Altered states of play: bands of Bouffons, rhythm, rituals and mocking dynamics.
- The shapeshifting body.
- How the Bouffons see the world: themes of play
- Bouffons impro: non-linear and non local writing.
- The Bouffons mocking the great themes of humanity.

- How Bouffon relates to Tragedy, Melodrama and Clown.
- Writing in the Grotesque Mode.
- Staging and Devising  Bouffons acts.





The workshop is devised as an intensive five-day training,
from Tuesday January 28th to Saturday February 1st.
Every day from 9:30am to 5:30pm



Hotham Mission
2 Elm St, North Melbourne VIC 3051



The aim of this course is to give participants professional theatre tools, in order to play and create in the genre of Bouffon and Grotesque. It is a training based on generosity, poetic ruthlesness and a commitment to exploring extreme states of physical excitement, madness and play.

To apply, you need to email a brief bio, and a letter of motivation.

Please include in the letter  the following topics :    
-how did you come to know about this work?    
-what is your experience with movement-based theatre?    
-what is your previous experience with Bouffons?    
-for what purpose do you apply for this program?

Giovanni will choose students from the applications received, forming the group. If the student's application is accepted, s/he will be given a spot in the class. Places will be given in order of email submission. Once Giovanni has selected 18 students, the workshop is full, and a waiting list will be created. If you intend to participate, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
To confirm the enrollment, a deposit of AUD 300 is due.
Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.

ENROLMENT SITUATION as on December 5th.

The workshop is officially confirmed and there is 1 spot left.


Early Bird registration: AUS$ 720 if full payment is sent by December 1st, 2019.

Full Price: AUS$ 800, if full payment is received after December 1st, 2019.

A reduction in the tuition is offered to participants to both Bouffons workshops taught by Giovanni in Melbourne
    Early Bird Tuition: AUS$ 1.300
    Full Tuition: AUS$ 1.500

Please note that tuition does not include accommodation: participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Melbourne.

The workshop will be taught in ENGLISH and requires a basic understanding of this language.
Please note the workshop is a learning continuum, so it is not possible to attend the class only in parts, or to miss any session of the work.

For further information about the content of the workshop, please contact Giovanni Fusetti

For application, enrolment and practical enquiries please contact


ktwiner @ gmail.com

Tel: 04 68664466


Photo credits:

(1) Pictures from the Bouffon Training taught by Giovanni Fusetti. with the MFA students at the Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California –  Spring 2007. 
(2) Stefano Borghi for HELIKOS School, 2014
(3) Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre, 2007
(4) Bouffons Intensive, Melbourne 2019
(5) Bouffons Workshop, Melbourne 2017
David Currie for Celebration Barn Theater, Bouffons Workshop 2016

Design & programming : DomRadisson.net