Slapstick: A slapping device dating back as far as commedia del arte maybe even earlier. Used to make hitting sounds etc. However in today’s theatrical community the term ‘slapstick’ has taken on its own modern meaning. Most audiences and even theatre practitioners have an image of clowning around, bumping into stuff and falling over. In some way the meaning is still there it has just taken on a larger definition.
Falling and bumping into things, is something that I do a lot of in performance and have done for a long time. Someone once asked me why and when did all this start? And for a long time I just assumed it was because of my profession or some bizarre natural ability. But it was only recently that I remembered that as a child I used to ‘practice’ falling a lot. I would stand on the edge of my bed and practice various ways of 'dying', I was especially inspired by the guy who fell from the tower in the opening credits of F-Troop. For anyone too young it was a show on TV back in the early seventies. I can remember falling for hours, that’s children‘s hours… so it was properly only a few minutes. Little did I know at that age I was training my body to deal with the various positions that the body finds itself in when falling. Don't take knock-a-bout for granted!!