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The Physical Comedy Handbook [Paperback]

David Rider Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books,U.S. (26 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325001146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325001142
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,038,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This is a resource for actors, teachers and directors interested in physical comedy - from slapstick pratfalls to the theatre of the absurd. The author believes that the basic physical skills of comedy can be taught to anyone. His 20 years of practical experience - including workshops with Jacques LeCoq, Tony Montanaro, Bill Irwin, Avner Eisenberg, Mark Morris and Ronlin Foreman - have taught him so. Robinson shares what he has learned in this book, providing a thorough explanation of a range of techniques for developing comic timing, writing original material and working with scripts. The book includes numerous hands-on exercises designed to help anyone, regardless of experience, develop their sense of play.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Davis "Genius" Robinson 29 April 1999
By A Customer
I have studied with Davis Robinson for a Year now at Emerson College, and I wouldn't trade this year of training for anything. He is one of the most brilliant acting teachers I have ever encountered, and I have had the pleasure of reading this book before it's publication date. I truly believe that this should become a standard for all acting classes and teachers for years to come. His brilliance and down to earth approach to this handbook is really something that any actor/teacher who takes their studies and work seriously NEEDS to learn from. I for one am going to keep this book in my back pocket for years to come. Davis Robinson is the Misner of our time, and his book is the perfect way to ring in the Millenium! Davis Robinson has changed my life, and if you read this book it will change yours as well! In fact, Yesterday I saw The Physical Comedy class performance here at Emerson, Davis' last class before he ventures off to Bowdain College, and it was probably one of the funniest things I have ever watched on stage. This book is an imperative item on anyones bookshelp who is serious about the performing arts and the technique behind it all! Buy it now. Read it Often!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the illustrations? 28 Jun 2003
By G. Pearcy - Published on Amazon.com
While Mr. Robinson's book is a nice description of basic comedy bits and the tricks that make them work, I thought the book cried out for illustrations. I had a difficult time understanding the directions. How much more informative the book could have been if someone had taken the time to illustrate (even stick figures) the wonderful classic moves.
Still a good book. I hope they reprint it with graphics.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES!!!! 7 Nov 2002
By J C Mawdsley - Published on Amazon.com
Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! Time and time again I have found the exercises in this book useful as a student of physical comedy. The book is well set out starting performers off with solo work and taking them all the way up to ensemble work, building the performers' physical vocabulary along the way. The book gives easy to follow, useful descriptions of technique. I can only hope that later editions will include step-by-step illustrations for some of the techniques. I highly recommend this book, and yes it is something you'll refer to again and again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thought for sure..... 30 Jan 2013
By toonrog99 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
That this titled book would come with either at least black and white picture samples,
or diragram type drawings to show us clearly how to do the lessons inside said book.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true master 6 Sep 2001
By D'Arcy Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Davis Robinson is one of the most influential figures in my performing arts career. I studied with him at Emerson until his last year before moving on to Bowdoin College. I assistant directed with him as well as taking his movement and physical comedy courses. His knowledge and foresight are inspirational in this book and the excercises he shares are well-explained (here and in real life.) I think of him often and smile because his teachings are dead-on, direct, and completely originated from his extensive background in movement and theatre. He is the type of mentor who kicks you in the butt when you absolutely need it and empathetic when its appropriate. Buy this book and you will get a small glimpse of his artistic and technical prowess.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 14 July 2013
By abombtmc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! Very well written, with a perfect blend of specific instruction balanced with open-ended freedom to explore each exercise. I've been using many of these techniques on stage for years, but it was incredibly validating to see them written out and to understand why they were already such an integral part of my unconscious comedic mind.
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