Home / Courses / COURSE C 2020 : Lazzi! Seriously Funny Business – Mitch Michelson

COURSE C 2020 : Lazzi! Seriously Funny Business – Mitch Michelson

Lazzi are the comic routines originating in the Italian Commedia dell’Arte where they were used as comic set pieces in their own right for the audiences to look forward to, as commentary on the characters, their relationships and their world, to create dramatic tension by interrupting the action of the play and delaying the denouement and as stage tricks and comic business.

Playwrights incorporated versions of these routines into their plays. We see their echo in the works of Shakespeare, Moliere, Goldoni, Alan Ayckbourn, Dario Fo, Martin McDonagh, Samuel Beckett. Pantomime became a home for their antics.They could be physical, verbal or a combination of both.

Be prepared to joyously explore the seriously comic business of the Lazzi though social rebellion and status anxiety, food, slapstick, the illogical, the playfully rude, inappropriate behaviour, dramatic transformations, haunted houses, magical islands and with text from the aforementioned playwrights. We shall even devise our own original Lazzi. Suitable for all levels of experience, ages and dramatic pioneers. With masks, and text, comic timing and a journey into the light and the dark!


Mitch Michelson is a freelance director, teacher and performer. He has worked extensively at drama schools and universities in the UK.

He has run workshops for the National Theatre (UK)Royal Shakespeare Company  and National Youth Theatre (UK). He also has an international profile running workshops in Hong Kong, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium and Ireland and Luxembourg.

He collaborated with the Turner prize artist Jeremy Deller on re-enactments of the routines of Jacques Tati on the beaches of Folkstone. As a film consultant for the National Centre for Circus Artshe work-shopped and introduced the Harry Potter actor Danial Radcliffe to clowning and slapstick.

He has run workshops in the art of farce for the Bernard Shaw Theatre in Carlow, Ireland.

Directing projects include Arnold Wesker’s “The Kitchen” for Fourth Monkey Theatre Company“Lysistrita” for actors of Dionysus, devised productions of the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Italo Calvino for Theatre On Your Door Step, Twickenham, London, and one-act plays by Dario Fo and Feydeau for a student drama festival at St Mary’s University, London. He has recently worked as an associate director for Osborne and What, adapting and co-directing a circus theatre version of William Wharton’s novel “Birdy” for a national tour. He has just completed an intensive programme on theatre devising producing one-act plays with young acting students.  He recently directed Alan Ayckbourn’s “A Small Family Business” at Theatre on Your Doorstop, Twickenham, London. 

Mitch’s Recent Theatre Labs:

  • Ramor Theatre in Virginia, Co Cavan
  • New World Theatre Company in Luxembourg
  • Social drama in Folkestone, England
  • Commedia with Intermission Youth Theatre in London