The Argus: Brighton Festival Thumb Jos Houben is a very funny man… but he’s not a comedian. As founder of Theatre de Complicité, his demeanor is more of studious anthropologist meets drama professor meets Frank Spencer rather than stand-up gagsmith, and he’s here to teach us a lesson – Physical Comedy 101.

With so much physical theatre going on this May, it was a delight to have a peep behind the curtains into the mechanisations of the genre with a master of the trade.

The Argus: angel awards with mayo wynne baxter_75px.jpg Posing the theory that humanity’s dignity is based on our vertical evolution and laughter erodes it from within, he took the mesmerised and guffawing audience on an exploration into the comedy in our everyday movement, stance, expression and gesture.

Part seminar, part masterclass, it felt a privilege to be present. Watching the sage-like figure map comic areas of the body and discuss their humour, then turn buffoon and demonstrate said comic nuances to the booming laughter of recognition the next, it was obvious we were in the company of a true clown.

His discussions about the dangers of transposing comic personality onto animals and inanimate objects elicited some of the heartiest laughter of the evening.

Watching him display the comic sensibilities of Camembert, then strutting about the room as he impersonated a chicken, nonchalantly asking “do you see a brilliant chicken or a ridiculous man?” only added to his theory that laughter doesn’t care much for dignity.

Quite simply put, if you’ve ever laughed or even cracked a smile, you must see this show.