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The creation of a hilarious and hard hitting clown theatre show exploring migration, performed by an award-winning female Eastern European clown 

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Writer Annie Siddons

During the R&D week at Soho Theatre with the writer Annie Siddons we discovered that the theme of migration is at the heart of the show 

At the end of the R&D week we invited an audience of mostly migrant artists to watch and give feedback 

"So poetic, ridiculously funny, moving and gut wrenching. The end hits you in the gut and is very unexpected" Tatiana Collet Apraxine (French)

"I laughed a lot. It was meaningful. A brilliant artist! The storyline has completely opened another world." Giudi (Italian)

​"I love the story that you're telling. " Chris (British)

"It's excellent! Full of substance. I love that you are able to go into an imaginary space, I could see that place around you" Fabio (Italian)

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"Julia is an extraordinary performer and artist, making theatrical shows rooted in traditional clowning and physical theatre but with contemporary messages and sensibilities. Her shows are frequently absurd, but never at the expense of depth, and retain a warmth and relatability whilst being completely engaging. Julia herself is an extraordinary performer, and her subtle use of her physicality and her compelling personality make her magnetic to watch. Her shows are always a complete joy, and she is committed to making work which is hilarious, touching, exuberant and meaningful. Audiences leave thoroughly entertained, but also feeling as if they've been part of a collective experience. 

Julia has a really exciting future ahead of her. Her work ethic and creativity in coming up with new shows and concepts is remarkable, and she is a unique theatre-maker and an example of the vital place of modern clowning and physical theatre in the performance landscape."

-Jodie Adams (Programmer & Producer at Assembly) 

A video of an early work in progress performance of CHOOSH!  before collaborating with the writer Annie Siddons 


Julia's work as a clown has been written about in scientific PhD research documents amongst legendary clowns as Slava Polunin. 

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Julia Masli runs clown workshops and teaches theatrical play at world renowned clown theatre school in France, Ecole Philippe Gaulier. 

The workshops focus on rediscovering our freedom to play. The practice of clowning allows us to find great creative possibilities in failure and to embrace our unique qualities. In clowning what is seen as a weakness by our society can become our greatest asset. This radical self-acceptance can be empowering, allowing us to let our guard down and share ourselves as we are. That way we begin to find joy in being ridiculous which leads to great belly laughter. This collective laughter is deep, with our entire bodies. 

This playful attitude nurtures creativity and is the foundation for any creative act or project. The clowning practice - to be immensely in the moment and sharing one's vulnerability, is fundamental to any artistic practice or creative project and is a chance to experience genuine connection. 

Julia's workshops are open to performers and non-performers alike.


Clown & Play Workshop at Vault Creative Studios

Creative team

Clown - Julia Masli

Writer - Annie Siddons

Julia Masli is an Estonian born, London based performer, theatre-maker and clown of mixed Eastern European origins. Winner of the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality at Edinburgh Fringe 2019. Her show Legs had an extended sold out run at Soho Theatre. Julia's show Anna Karenina Na Na with The Pushkinettes was nominated for an Off West End Theatre Award for best production at Voila Europe Fest 2019. Her show Logs, the much anticipated sequel to Legs, sold out the run at Soho Theatre in 2021. Julia is currently developing her solo show CHOOSH! with funding support from Arts Council, England. The work in progress of CHOOSH! was in The Telegraph’s Top 5 Shows not to miss in Edinburgh 2021. 

Julia has performed with New International Encounter in the award-winning "We Come from Far Far Away", "Spynet" and was commissioned to make a short film "Outsiders". She is currently working as a clown with Race Horse contemporary circus company on their new upcoming show. 

As playwright/ dramaturg, Annie Siddons has worked with Kneehigh, Bristol Old Vic, The Bush, Battersea Arts Centre, Teater Sagohuset, the Gate, National Theatre Studio, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Unicorn, Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, Filament Theatre, Undercurrent Theatre. Rapunzel, written for her young daughters in 2005, was picked up by Kneehigh in 2006 and did two London runs at BAC and London's Southbank before touring the UK and US. It's since been remounted 8 times. It was be the Egg Christmas show 2019. In Jan 2018 she dramaturged on Caroline Byrne's production of All's Well that Ends Well at the Globe.

"This marvellously inventive show… Annie Siddons’ script is almost Shakespearian in its mix of the earthy and ethereal, the funny and the frightening" ★★★★★ Sunday Times, RAPUNZEL

Clown Consultant - Viggo Venn

Sound Designer - Jonny Woolley

Viggo Venn is Norwegian clown and theatre teacher based in London. He is a staff teacher at renowned clown school Ecole Philippe Gaulier in France and has toured his original clown shows across Europe, Australia and USA. His shows received critical acclaim around the world and won multiple awards including “Best Comedy Award” at The Brighton Fringe. Viggo created and toured the show “Brothers & Sisters” with New International Encounter (NIE) that was nominated for Norway's main theatre award, The Hedda Award, for “Best show for a young audience”. He is a sought after clown teacher and regularly teaches clown workshops in the UK, Norway and USA.

“Brilliantly Funny” - The Scotsman

“Venn has a classic physical comedy in him in the vein of Monty Python” - Theatre In The Now, (NY)

Jonny Woolley is a Canadian sound designer based in London. Working primarily with clowns, his sound work focuses on live and dynamic cues, allowing the performers to improvise and experiment with new impulses in the moment. In 2019, The Guardian wrote “You need something to distinguish yourself from the herd [...] The something in question is director and sound-effects operator Jonny Woolley, effectively the other half of an on stage/off stage double act.” Woolley has designed and operated sound for multiple award-winning acts across the world such as American clown Zach Zucker and his alter-ego Jack Tucker, Norwegian clown phenom Viggo Venn and the hugely popular variety show "Stamptown". Woolley trained with the acclaimed French pedagogue Phillippe Gaulier. He uses his experience in improvised clown and theatrical performance to add a dynamism to his sound work rarely seen in the craft. Steve Bennett of Chortle wrote “Jonny Woolley triggers sound cues, nudging [the performer] to ad-lib and push the performance in a different direction.” This signature style has made him a highly sought after figure in the industry.

Trailer Editor & Videographer - Dror Shohet

Dror Shohet is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist based in London, trained in photography, animation and fine art in Jerusalem, Amsterdam and Sderot. Her poetic cinematic works explore the intersection of political and ecological conflict and have been showcased internationally in cinemas and galleries. She also collaborates with visual artists, choreographers, theatre directors, musicians and researchers across interdisciplinary arts and community projects. Her current interests include femininity, otherness and interconnectivity.

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