Follow Us on Twitter

London Clown Festival announces its inaugural London Event

CLOWN is big news in the theatre and comedy scene right now and gone are the assumptions of red noses and oversized shoes. Today’s clowning harks back to its glory days of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton – amazing physical performers who could make people laugh with a twitch of their eyebrows.

Hosted at London’s newest Arts Hub, The Omnitorium at Manor House, from June 10 to June 19, 2016, London Clown Festival is a festival of physical comedy and clown influenced contemporary performance. It explores what clown is to the modern performer and their audiences.

The first festival of its kind in London, 34 shows will be seen over 10 days featuring highly acclaimed artists, alongside up and coming new talent from over 10 nationalities.

They include BAFTA and Chortle Award Nominee Spencer Jones (The Herbert in Eggy Bagel, Friday, June 17 at 8:30pm), Total Theatre Award for Innovation nominee Jamie Wood (O No!, Saturday, June 11 at 7:45pm) and multiple award winner Lucy Hopkins (Surprise Event, Tuesday, June 14 at 8:30pm).

In creating this Festival, the organisers hope to share the joy and exhilaration of Clown with a wide breadth of audiences both young and old and to help alter the image of Clown in the public consciousness.

The opening Cabaret and press night event will be held on Friday, June 10 at 8:30pm in The Omnitorium bringing a wonderfully ridiculous beginning to a stupidly entertaining festival! The Balkan Bad-Boys Boris & Sergey host a night of hilarity and absurdity, featuring acts from the festival. Entry will be free for this event with the bar hosting the after party until the wee hours.

In recent years, there has been an upsurge in comedy and theatre performers who have been influenced by the teachings of legendary physical performance trainers Lecoq and Gaulier. Many of these students have gone on to become celebrated award-winning artists.

But, Clown remains somewhat of an enigma to the general public who still sometimes think of the stereotypical image of the clown as found in circus performance, complete with squirty flower. Or of course as Tim Curry’s beyond-terrifying performance in Steven King’s IT.

So, say the festival’s creators, “if you see a clown show, but no one tells you it’s a clown show, then if you like this kind of thing how do you know what to look for?”

This has been such an issue that Clown now has become a somewhat misunderstood word and some performers are unsure whether to identify themselves as Clowns or not. Well, now this group of celebrated stage performers are bringing Clown back to centre stage it belongs

The London Clown Festival is a joint collaboration between Flabbergast Theatre Company, the creators of the greatest vaudevillian double act ever conceived for the small stage – Boris & Sergey, puppetry’s Balkan bad boys, and the award-winning puppetry, physical comedy, and mime performance Tatterdemalion – which will perform at the Festival as a solo show by Flabbergast’s own Henry Maynard. (Mimetic Festival Judges Award for Theatre Winner 2015 and Amused Moose Finalist).

Tickets: £5 in advance, £6 on the door (unless otherwise stated on event info) – available online at www.londonclownfest.co.uk/.

Times: Vary by event, from early afternoon to evening.

The Omnitorium, Eade Road, London, N4 1DH