Shall we meet then, you and I… In Skyros

Shall we meet then, you and I, on a Greek island in September? Any day between Saturday 4th and 11th? Admittedly you will have to pay for this – but think what fun we can have…

This will be the 4th time I have taught a course this year called ‘Mindlessness’ on the island of Skyros and here are the reasons why you should come and be my student this year

The island is beautiful (see pics) and so in September is the weather. The Skyros Centre lies in the tiny capital of the island – a jumble of white dwellings, groovy bars and restaurants.

My  ‘lessons’ take place in the mornings on a stone terrace overlooking the blue Aegean Sea. Laughter is inevitable. Peace is available in the afternoons when you can make the short walk to sit on the sandy beach, swam in the sea, eat fresh seafood or write your novel.

This is the blurb about my course:


Mindlessness is a course for people who are interested in laughter, both doing it and making it happen. If you want to be a comic novelist, a playwright, a writer of screen plays, sketches, poetry and gags or, if you are really deranged and want to be a stand up comedian, then there will be something here for you. If, on the other hand you have no such ambition but just want to sit around laughing in the Aegean sun then you too are welcome.

There will be discussions about what is funny and exercises in how to make funny happen. You will be invited to write stories, poems and one-liners, and to recount anecdotes about your shameful past; you will learn about the rule of 3, the importance of the call back and how to cope with deranged hecklers. Most importantly, at the end everyone gets a certificate.

Some of my methods are old school e.g I will cane anyone who is more than ten minutes late and I must be addressed at all times as sir.

You need not be desperate to become a writer or comedian to come along – my students have included retired teachers, an optician, the newly-divorced wife of an oil executive, a Norwegian nurse, an MI5 operative and a bicycle repair-man

Some of my methods are ‘old school’ eg I will thrash anyone who is more than ten minutes late and I must be addressed at all times as ‘sir’.

If you have failed to clock that that last sentence was a joke then we have some work to do. Good.




Theseus died on Skyros and Achilles left from there to take part in the Trojan Wars. And, for someone like myself, educated at a grammar school in the sixties, when we all had to know the poets of the First World War, Skyros has a special resident –  Rupert Brooke is buried there. His most famous lines take on a new poignancy when you stand at his grave in an olive grove that lies on the barren, goat-attracting Southern tip of the island:


‘If I should die, think only this of me.

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England’


So, hope to see you there and if you are till uncertain this is the clincher




A Holiday with Arthur Smith

Sun 4th to Sun 11th – Mindlessness: Comedy Writing – A course for people who are interested in laughter – Skyros Centre, Greece – Course & Booking info


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