The Why Not Institute Team
We have so many members of The Why Not Institute ‘family’, including many who have taken our courses and stayed in touch to help be a part of the Institute’s work. Here are details of some of our core team:
Artistic Director (and Chief Clown): ANGELA DE CASTRO
IT Geek (and Clown): JACK STARK
Chief Physio (the clown’s Body Mechanic): WARRICK MCNEILL
More biographies of our core team will be added here very shortly.
Angela de Castro
Chief Clown and Artistic Director
Angela de Castro has been performing since she was 17 years old, beginning in her native Brazil where she was a well-known actress in theatre, film and television and director of her own theatre company. She was a member of the original cast of the ground-breaking show ‘Macunaima’ (1977-1980), which changed the face of Brazilian theatre and played to an audience of over half a million people in Brazil alone, as well as touring internationally for over two years.
In 1986 Angela de Castro moved to London to pursue her dream to study, perform and reclaim theatre clowning as a modern art form. She has toured the UK and internationally with the major contemporary theatre and circus companies and is well known as a teacher of her master class ‘How To Be A Stupid’ .
Angela de Castro is one of the most loved women clowns. She is a leading theatre practitioner, actor, teacher, director and speaker. Her performances and methodology have been well recognised in the UK and abroad, awarding her, among a few, a Lawrence Olivier Award (UK), the Golden Nose Award (Spain), the Nesta Dreamtime Fellowship, an Arts Foundation Fellowship and an International Fellowship by Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for her contribution on the art of clowning.
Angela de Castro has been teaching her master classes extensively all over the world. (See CV for more details)
The blend of actress work and theatre clown work makes de Castro a bold and complete actress / clown. For her, the combination of the work of the actor and the clown is of vital importance as it creates a new way of performing.
Angela de Castro has been recently performing and could be seen in ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, (National Theatre, Olivier Theatre, London, England), ‘Under Glass’, by the Clod Ensemble ‘Laughing Matters’, work in progress, , ‘Luz Nas Trevas’ feature length film (Brazil), ‘Ionesco’s ‘The New Tenant’ for the Young Vic Theatre and is well known for her clown Rough, the green clown, in the award winning Slava’s ‘Snowshow’. She creates and tours her own shows under her own company Contemporary Clowning Projects. Her shows include ‘The Gift’ , ‘My Life Is Like A Yo Yo’, ‘only fools (no horses)’ a show about the Shakespearean Fools. ‘Laughing Matters’, ‘Foreigners’ and ‘Alone: All+ One’, are projects in development.
Theatre clowning is a life’s passion and way of life for de Castro. She doesn’t stop working. She is completely dedicated and committed to her work. She is always working on shows, directing and mentoring other companies, developing her own clowns’ personas and learning how to play the ukulele. When she has some free time, she can be seen browsing around street markets, riding her beloved motorbike and feeding the ducks in the park near her house.
Click here to download Angela de Castro’s full CV.
Clown and IT Geek
Jack is a full-time Professional Idiot, who focuses mostly on clowning under his clown persona Kiki;. He works primarily on the variety circuit, and has therefore built up an extensive network of contacts around the UK and Europe. His routines draw upon his training and experience in a variety of skill-sets, including mime, physical theatre, puppetry, illusion, escapology and more.
As well as touring on the variety circuit, Kiki has spent the last few years working on and performing his 5 star clown show ‘The Weatherman’, another solo show “Sheets” and a family show “The Man who Knows Everything”. He has recently returned from Cambodia, where he was teaching clowning to disabled artists.
Chief Physio (the clown’s Body Mechanic)
The Why Not Institute and A de Castro highly recommends the best body–fixer around.
Warrick McNeill MCSP (Chartered Physiotherapist) is the Director of Physioworks a Physiotherapy and Pilates clinic in the West End of London. He trained in New Zealand in Physiotherapy and added a Pilatges Qualification here in the UK. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies writing primarily on Movement and Movement health topics with over 20 published articles in the Journal, and two book chapters. He has taught courses around the UK, in the Netherlands and South Africa for The Performance Matrix
He has an interest in treating Dancers and Performers (especially clowns!) and his client list over the past 25 years of Physiotherapy practice has included the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, West End Shows, The London Studio Centre (Dance College), and The Musical Theatre Academy, along with surprisingly normal people too.
If you have any injury, or one of those annoying pains here and there, go to Warrick, he will point you in the direction so you can cost effectively fix yourself! His approach is all-inclusive, so he takes in consideration all your life style and head space. This is especially good for performers, who are usually anxious about getting fixed fast so we can go on with the show. He specialises in helping his clients understand their problems so they can use the tools they agree on together – often exercise – to help them fix themselves. As a generalist therapist Warrick works with all parts of the musculoskeletal system but on balance it is backs and necks that a large percentage of clients present with. But often it is the whole body that is affected by pain and injury so you need a whole body solution.
Warrick would like to write a book called, ‘Does my Dog need to do Pilates?
Warrick is a wonderful man and professional, a clown at heart, and we are very pleased that he is collaborating with The Why Not Institute.