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CAA The Supplement / The Incredible Physical Comedy of Rowan Atkinson

A closer look at the incredible physical comedy of Rowan Atkinson.

Some of you will know Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean. However, throughout his career Rowan Atkinson has portrayed many different comedy characters. Including, various characters in the sketch comedy series Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979-82), on stage in one man shows, in sitcom comedies such as BlackAdder (1983-89) and The Thin Blue Line (1995-96), and multiple film roles such as Johnny English (2003-present), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), The Lion King (1994), and the Mr Bean films (1997-present).

What makes Rowan Atkinson' comedy successful is his ability to physically (and verbally) portray characters so precisely. In this video the Nerdwriter explores the nature of Rowan Atkinson's comedy and how skilled he is as a character based performer. In Rowan Atkinson's work there is a big emphasis on 'contrast' and 'accurate' characterisation. Whether that is a 'silly person in a serious situation' (Mr Bean), or a serious School Master reading out silly names (his stage show). This is particularly relevant to character animation and the Collaboration Project (for next year). One of Rowan Atkinson's less talked about works is Laughing Matters (1992) which is video essay on physical comedy - it is lost piece of 'educational gold' for animators. You can watch here or find it online.