We use improvisation to unlock teaching and learning skills in education and also confidence and agility within businesses/organisations.

Training for Businesses

Our training workshop programme for businesses is called Business Improvers and has its own website which is currently being developed. You can find out more about this exciting programme by clicking here

CPD for Teachers

We run four CPD Workshops for teachers (scroll down for detail):


Here’s a short introduction from John:

Workshops for Students and Young People

We run two specialist Theatre Workshops for teenagers and more experienced performers (scroll down for detail):


Now, before we get into the detail of each workshop, you might be wondering


So here’s our four key points:

We have been teaching workshops for 20 years and have trained with the world leaders of improvisation. We have worked with students, actors, teachers and non-performers from a broad range of backgrounds and experience. We’ve taught in secondary schools, drama schools and primary schools in the UK, as well as teaching all over the world in places like Bangladesh, India, Colombia and Iran (with the British Council).

Our ideas about improvisation in the classroom are currently the focus of research by academics at Kings College, London. The study involves measuring the impact of using improvisation skills as a teaching tool on young people’s attainment. Our research partner at KCL is Viv Ellis, Professor of Educational Leadership and Teacher Development. Some background and information about the pilot study is HERE

“Our teaching ethos and our performing style is rooted in the belief that the most interesting ideas arrive when you allow yourself to surprise yourself. Learning the skill of improvisation – which we believe anyone can learn – unlocks this potential in all of us.” John Nicholson, Peepolykus Co-Artistic Director


    Groups of up to 20 participants will require one facilitator. Bigger groups may require two, which affect the price. Training can take place in your school or a venue you provide. Half day workshops £300 plus VAT. Full day workshops £475 + VAT. Travel included within a 50 mile radius of Bristol.
    Please email or phone Kim Lawrence, Education Manager on 07779 729644 to book.

    1. Pupil Learning Mindset (all teachers) Duration – half day OR full day

    This half day CPD will arm teachers with simple games and exercises that can be used in the classroom to awaken and focus pupils – quickly and effectively drawing a group into the same headspace. These games and exercises have been designed to nurture and develop pupil engagement, resilience and acceptance that ‘failure’ is an unavoidable and important aspect of learning. This course offers a palette of techniques and approaches that can have useful application in any given subject area.

      2. Agility Growth (all teachers) Duration – half day OR full day

      A classroom environment is never predictable. So what happens when your lesson plan isn’t going to plan? Teachers are obliged to become highly adept at thinking in the moment – developing the confidence and agility to find a different way to explain a concept or to ensure a learning objective has landed. This day long workshop will use games and exercises to help teachers develop their capacity to be agile, to think on their feet, to strengthen their ability to discover, in the moment, a new way to explain something. This CDP is not just about participants noticing habitual responses and behavior. It’s about unlocking a participant’s ability to make changes.

        3. Getting Unstuck (Primary years 4-7) Duration – half day OR full day

        This workshop allows teacher to observe how their pupils behave when they are stuck and then subsequently prompted with strategies to get unstuck (especially if the pupil has since lost confidence in his/her own ability to get ‘unstuck’). Children will be led to work in groups, in pairs and individually. It’s a chance for teachers to sit back and observe resilience and confidence being displayed in ways that may not be noticed on a day to day basis. This workshop is about supporting teachers to increase pupil engagement, agility, resilience and non-linear thinking.

          4. Storytelling in Curriculum Delivery (all teachers) Duration – half day OR full day

          Great storytelling is at the heart of effective teaching. Effective teachers, like great storytellers, know how to draw attention from their audience. They are adept at knowing when and how to deliver the most crucial pieces of information – the material they really need their pupils to remember and understand from the lesson. This half-day course uses games and exercises to help participants reflect on and develop their storytelling skills within the context of a lesson plan.


          Groups of up to 20 participants will require one facilitator. Bigger groups may require two, which affect the price. Training can take place in your school or a venue you provide. Half day workshops £300 plus VAT. Full day workshops £475 + VAT. Travel included within a 50 mile radius of Bristol.
          Please email or phone Kim Lawrence, Education Manager on 07779 729644 to book.

          1. How To Surprise Yourself (for teenagers) Duration – half day OR full day

          This workshop is designed to encourage participants to feel safe without a script. The workshop will draw on Peepolykus’s approach to devising work through clowning and improvisation techniques. Theatre games and improvisation exercises will be used to encourage participants to be playful, to surprise themselves and to be surprisingly funny.

            2. The Comedy of Tragedy (advanced workshop for drama students, usually 18 years+ but this isn’t exclusive) Duration – half day OR full day

            This workshop will help participants discover how closely comedy and tragedy can sit in performance – when comedy can draw out the tragedy and tragedy can draw out the comedy in a scene. The workshop will encourage participants to play the truth of a situation but with a lightness of touch in their performance. We will also look at developing a relationship with the audience. This workshop is most suitable for participants with performance experience.

                Here are some quotes from teachers picked up during our research. These might sound familiar…!

                We don’t really have the time or the resources to encourage children to be more active learners. There isn’t anywhere in the curriculum where those skills are developed separate from the teaching of the subject but if there are games and exercises that can help activate that enquiring or ‘taking a risk quality’, then we are really interested to try that stuff out.

                “I’d like to see exercises that encourage pupils to have a dialogue with their teacher, that leads to a more equal or balanced transaction where the teacher is more than just a vessel of facts who stands at the front of the classroom. Games that encourage you not to ‘block’ or ‘shutdown’ when you encounter something you think might be difficult will be very useful.”

                Trying to plan a student’s behaviours and environment to be conducive to what you are about to teach can be really difficult because you as the teacher are in that mindset all the time but they aren’t, because they have just come from a very different environment.

                “The challenge (is) making what you want them to learn interesting and relevant to them because you’re fighting against what they see as interesting and relevant to them as young people.”

                The spectre of GSCE is right there from Year 7 so you as a teacher are having to counter that. Year 7 should be about the joy of learning about your subject. Year 7’s come in with great enthusiasm, and by year 8 they are disillusioned. Year 8 are also the lowest priority in terms of what you need to achieve with them because of the structure of the examination system as a whole. It would be great if we could find stuff that breaks some of ‘that’ within the accepted modes of what we’re doing. Are there strategies we can adopt through improvisation that start to increase engagement and resilience? Even if we can show a small incremental rise, it would be worth it.

                “…it’s difficult to try something completely new. If we can break the fear of finding new ways to approach lesson plans, we might have a chance of changing the engagement of pupils and helping them to see the relevance of all of the subjects they are taught.”

                Peepolykus has also run workshops and projects with a number of groups and organisations including:
                West Yorkshire Playhouse, Pegasus Youth Theatre, Oxford, Lyric Hammersmith
                Rose Bruford College, Deaf Stories Group, Bristol, Firebird Theatre, Bristol
                Circomedia, 72Point PR, City Lit, Circus Space, Desperate Men, Inspector Sands
                Tmesis Theatre, Bristol University Drama Department, Swindon Youth Theatre
                The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, Interaction, Liverpool Everyman, National Youth Music Theatre, British Council.


Education Programme & General Enquiries

Contact: Education Manager Kim Lawrence
Tel: 0117 908 2423 / 07779 729 644

Business Improvers Training Programme

Contact: Mick Dickinson

Licensing & Touring

Contact: Producer Eleanor Lloyd

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