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Some tables for a performance space

some paper

sanitizer to sanitize objects

a series of fun and silly objects of all shapes and descriptions, the more interesting the better, for example, a lunch box, a ruler, a belt, a plastic packet, a pot plant – anything!)

chairs (ideally one per participant).


Observation – The Tragedy of Objects-

Exercise One:

  1. Scrunch up a piece of paper (or plastic, or tinfoil, or cellophane).
  2. Observe how it moves as it tries to return to its original form
  3. Pull what you have observed into your body, moving from a scrunched-up position on the floor to a standing position

Gathering Objects-

  • Take a look around the room and grab as many objects as you can find
  • Bring them back to the centre
  • Don’t forget to sanitize your hands and the objects before moving to the next exercise!

Object Game-

Exercise Two:

  1. Split into groups of five.
  2. Countdown from 5! 4! 3! 2! 1!
  3. Take turns to come into the circle, choose an object and use it for anything it is NOT meant to be used for.
  4. Don’t censor yourself!

Graphic Mime Game-

  • In your group of five, fetch five chairs and set them up behind the objects
  • Each person pick one object, and place it on a chair

Exercise Three:

  1. Each person take a turn to lift your chair with the object still on it
  2. Everyone else must run behind that chair and become that object

Competition Time!-

Exercise Four:

  1. Someone starts by calling out the number of a chair.
  2. Everyone must run to that chair and become the object on the chair.
  3. The person who reaches the chair last is OUT.
  4. They get to pick the number of the next chair.
  5. Continue until there is a winner!

Finding your Object-

  • Move the chairs out of the way and gather all the objects into the space.
  • Choose an object that speaks to you.
  • Find your own space.
  • Observe your object – it’s weight, size, sound, moving parts.

Exercise Five:

  1. Bring the object to stillness and find a comfortable way to hold it.
  2. Explore how the object can breathe.

Exercise Six:

  1. Explore how your object might look into space.
  2. Your object scans the space – sees something – looks at the audience or the camera – looks back at what it sees – decides to move towards it.
  3. Explore what sounds your object makes.
  4. Explore how your object interacts with the environment and other objects.


  • Keep your object, but clear away the rest.
  • Find a surface you can play on, with a barrier to hide behind.  A table on it’s side is ideal.

Exercise Seven:

  1. In your group of five, work with two objects at a time.
  2. Create a short narrative involving two objects meeting each other.
  3. Remember to work with focus, looking, stillness and breath.

Exercise Eight:

  1. Choose one of the interactions you came up with in the previous exercise.
  2. Develop it into a short story with a beginning, middle, and end.
  3. Use your other performers to create sound effects, lighting, special effects, whatever you can think of that will enhance your story.
  4. HAVE FUN!

Exercise Nine:

  1. Show each other your work!
  2. Film it if you like. ☺


After completing a BA HONS and working for the award winning Deaf and Hearing theatre company FTHK, Liezl De Kock went on to complete her MA in Contemporary Performance Cum Laude at Rhodes University.

A conspiracy of clowns won an Ovation Award and two Fleur du Cap Awards for, Pictures of You, which was also the highest grossing Theatre production at the National Arts Festival of 2009.  De Kock was also nominated for the Fleur du Cap Best Actress Award for her role as the mother in Rob Murray’s Womb Tide. She performed with Andrew Buckland in Crazy in Love which won an ovation award and the Amsterdam Fringe Fest award for Best International Production. She was nominated for a Naledi award for best supporting actress for Crazy in Love. Her final Master’s production, Piet se Optelgoed won a Silver Ovation award and was nominated for best international production at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival.  She was nominated for a Naledi Best Actress Award for her role as Sussie in Reza de Wet’s African Gothic directed by Alby Michaels.

In 2019 she had the honour to perform in Athol Fugard’s Statements after an arrest under the immorality act directed by Greg Karvellas. The production was nominated for five Kanna awards including best actress at the 2019 KNNK Arts Festival.

Just before lockdown in 2020, Liezl had the privilege of performing in Medium Rare, directed by Hennie van Greunen and Engel by die Dam, directed by Nico Scheepers at Woordfees.  She landed her first leading role in a TV series, Siende Blind on KyKNet in 2020.  She is currently lecturing at AFDA Johannesburg.

Rob is an active theatre-maker, educator, and researcher based in Johannesburg. As co-Artistic Director of the collective, A Conspiracy of Clowns, and co-founder and previously Artistic Director of the Deaf and hearing company, FTH:K, Rob has created a number of striking original South African works over the last two decades lauded for their innovative and visual approach. Some of the most iconic and best known include: Crazy in Love, Benchmarks, Pictures of You, Womb Tide, Piet se Optelgoed, QUACK!, and GUMBO.  In 2010, he was one of 25 international candidates nominated for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and was also mentored by theatre luminary Lara Foot. Most recently he directed the South African premiere of Let the Right One In for UJ in 2019, collaborated on The Lonely Sailor Weather Report in 2020, and directed Wet Behind the Ears for AFDA in 2020. He is currently lecturer in the School of Postgraduate Studies at AFDA and reading for his doctorate.