Spymonkey’s Festival of Broken Stupid Ideas

Guest Blog Post: Welcome to Spymonkey’s Festival of Broken Stupid Ideas

In the depths of Lockdown 1.0 Spymonkey started the Garage of Broken Stupid Ideas, which encouraged artists to come along and get their broken, stupid ideas up on the blocks, and let chief mechanics Aitor Basauri and Toby Park have a good old tinker around.

The response to this from the artists was tremendous, and so we decided to make a festival of work using the same principles – to see if we could actually get the ideas started and take them for a test drive: The Festival of Broken Stupid Ideas was born.

So over the last 5 weeks Spymonkey have been running online ‘garage’ sessions, in which artistic directors Toby and Aitor have been mentoring 12 different acts – solos, duos and bigger groups – to develop concise comedy & clown routines for Zoom. We’ve set the typical length of a pop song as our target: 3.5 minutes. With all the signs pointing towards the pandemic stretching out into 2021, it’s been an opportunity to see what works (and what doesn’t) in online performance. 

We have been working with professional physical comedy artists from all over the world – Australia, India, USA, Europe and UK. Many of the routines will form part of full length theatre shows once live performance normalises again, but working within the constraints of a 3-and-a-half minute zoom performance has shone a sharp light on the core principles of how to make physical comedy work: the rule of ‘KISS’ (Keep It Simple Stupid), immediacy, playing the game, comedic narrative and storytelling.

Hosted by Spymonkey’s Toby Park and Aitor Basauri, who will be trying to press far too many buttons (hopefully they won’t break the internet), the 12 new acts will be joined by guest stars from around the world, who will themselves be trying out some brand new stuff on Zoom – Mookie Cornish (Canada), Daniel Passer (USA), Claudio Carneiro (Brazil), Jarrod Bates & Kate Owens (NYC) and Spymonkey’s own Petra Massey currently with Spiegelworld in Las Vegas.

Tickets are reservable – there’s an opportunity to make a ‘pay what you like’ donation to our Brassmonkey Bursary award, encouraging diversity in physical comedy and clown.

Watch on Friday 30th Oct at 6pm-7.30pm UK time! Click here to book.

The performance will take place on Zoom.

***please note: May contain some grown up funnies, not for the easily offended***