LucyLovesCircus

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Chapter 128: An Audience with Ken Dodd


Photo: Paul Lippiatt

“So what’s a lovely girl like you wanting with a custard pie in your face then?” 

I was stumped for an answer, this moment had been a long time coming but I hadn’t really thought it through. “Why do you want Ken Dodd to chuck a custard pie at you?” would have been a lot easier to answer. Ken Dodd is comedy royalty, able to make fun of others, much to their delight, and never at their expense. These qualities were being recognised that evening where he was being presented with an award for being an Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend. I grew up on a diet of Doddie - in the Royal Variety shows, in his own series "The Ken Dodd Laughter Show", and quite frankly there is no-one else I would trust with a custard pie in their hands. Also, he strikes me as a generous soul - his overruns are legendary, he is the performer that never stops giving. So how lovely that five minutes before curtain up, with all the pressure of time and a long evening ahead, he should invite a complete random stranger into his dressing room who has this lunatic request, and give me a chance to explain myself. And what did he find? A mother of three With a figure like that? Ha! A real clown. And do your kids know you’re here? We-ll they know I’m meeting you… And your parents? Er, no. No, no! Ha! I bet they don’t!  The thing is, I told him, just the absurdity of the idea made one of my dearest girlfriends roar with laughter, and I'm a fool for laugh.

Ken Dodd: Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend
Next, and this I didn’t mention, I had to find someone to go with me. Much as my friend Carolyn was with me in spirit, there was no way she could get to Bristol on a Monday night, though she did see me off at the train station! And while my husband was completely supportive, in terms of looking after the kids, he had no desire to see his wife pelted with whipped cream and custard - he grew up in Switzerland, you see, in the clean, fresh mountain air, and this sense of humour is alien to him. While he is beginning to get it now, he was stuck at home with a broken leg anyway when, in our own piece of quality slapstick, he took a tumble after kissing me while skating at the Tower of London (see Clowning On Ice). My fault, off with her head!


So I contacted a few Bristol-based circus performers I thought might be up for it. It seems so easy now, but at the time it is a pretty big leap of faith to email someone out of the blue that you’ve only met once (and in one case not at all) and ask for their company. Especially the guys, I mean I saw that episode of Billie Piper in “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” - would they think it was some sort of Doddgey fetish? Or here’s to you Mrs Robinson?! But I’m a pretty good judge of character and the risk paid off. You see, I could have gone on my own, but with comedy and showbiz, it’s all about the audience. 


I am hugely grateful for the build-up beforehand. I was chuckling all the way up on the train that morning listening to Dodd wax lyrical in Radio 4’s Museum of Curiosities (click here). And it was a joy to see Bristol in the daytime (having last been up for an evening of Women in Circus - click here), being introduced to The Island circus training space, wandering through the streets lined with sandstone Georgian architecture, that reminded me of the Edinburgh Fringe. I was in holiday spirit again, and it was an adventure in its own right. 

And as for the pie itself, well, despite waiting for it for over several months now, I can honestly say that thanks to Ken Dodd’s genius and timing, it came as a complete surprise:



Postscriptjust back from the school run, and the kids have just seen the video. They erupted into giggles, chuffed to be mentioned, saying it was the funniest thing ever, and it was a pure joy to see. Later that night, Ken Dodd talked about the spontaneity of children being the highest form of laughter there is, and once again, he was spot on target. 

Meanwhile I rang my parents first thing in the morning. After carefully establishing that it didn’t involve yours truly chucking a pie at Mr Dodd, Mum thought it was hilarious and couldn’t wait to tell my father. They can’t access emailed videos on their computer, but I’ll be seeing them for lunch soon on my 40th birthday. Mum is cooking, and I’m bringing the just desserts.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Chapter 127: Le Patin Libre - Vertical

From left: Jasmin Boivin, Alexandre Hamel, Taylor Dilley, Samory Ba, Pascale Jodoin

Exhilarating, funny, thrilling, mesmerising, Dance Umbrella  brought the quintet of Canadian skaters in Le Patin Libre to carve up the ice at Somerset House last week with the a fusion of graceful ballet and engaging street performance. Half an hour passed in a flash of light and shadow, choreographed to stunning urban soundscape of rich, atmospheric music, audible breath, and a shattering of crystal shards, bringing new definition to the idea of a "son et lumiere" spectacle.

Le Patin Libre had come onto my radar in the summer in the buzz of the Edinburgh Fringe, winning The Total Theatre and The Place award for contemporary dance, and I couldn't wait to take my husband, as he grew up in Switzerland doing winter sports, just like these guys. That was until disaster struck when we were Clowning on Ice (click here). So instead I went with one of my dearest friends, another hand-holding skate partner, and we met up there with my first ever ice guide Rosie, also a storyteller and performer (@RosieTellsTales) who was working on front of house. Somerset House floodlight in pink and purple was a sight to behold, a stunning frame for the frozen stage.

Samory Ba
The first thing to note when Le Patin Libre return, and trust me, they must, is that you really do have to wrap up warm. Hats, scarves, gloves and a good couple of glasses of mulled wine in the green room café beside the rink should do the trick. The next is that the show is half an hour, so on one level, be prepared for it to go at top speed (literally), but at the same time, such is the intense beauty and thrill of the spectacle that it also feels like time is suspended.
Le Patin Libre, free skate, has a certain vibe of urban skateboarders on ice, a group that celebrates its diversity, in all shapes and sizes, a complete antithesis to the sequinned and permatan uniformity that the concept of Dancing on Ice conjures up. I liked the outfits of the skaters, casually co-ordinated in stone, slate, and mustard, which highlighted the natural harmony between them. I thought it was important too that there was a female skater, not overtly sexualised but bringing a feminine power and strength, that brought balance to the make-up of the group.


As with all things, I find circus everywhere, so when they raced towards us at speed, stopping at the last moment and playing with our nerves, it reminded me of the opening scene that morning I had seen in a trailer to the French film Chocolat, where the self-styled "black clown" toys with the conventional expectations of the audience. And it's funny, because the London International Mime Festival is in full swing at the moment, and there were elements in certain solo turns that I could also see extended into full-blown mime stand-alone pieces. 

Pascale, me and Rosie
They are all championship skaters, "gliding enthusiasts and weirdos" as founder Alexandre Hammel describes them (click here), but it was interesting to note that one was wearing a pair of ice hockey skates, while the rest were wearing figure skates, which affects certain movements, I understand. They belonged to Jasmin, who came to free skating, incredibly, only about four years ago (makes me think of the prodigy in the "The Mighty Ducks" - name me a pro-skater who didn't see that film as a child! I watched it with the kids at Christmas...), while the others are figure skaters by training. This is why at one point Jasmin sits out on a piece of group choreography, and it was a brave decision to have him seated on the side of the rink, so much in the fore, in an end piece, because for a split second I wondered if he had been injured. So slickly done, he clearly wasn't, but I appreciated the explanation later from Rosie as to why. It was Jasmin, as well, who composed the stunning music score. I wish I had enough skating knowledge to explain how and why the "s" figures, twists, jumps and balances were so exquisite, but all I can say was that the vertiginous acrobatics held me in rapt attention from start to finish. And I laughed so much as well, I hadn't expected that.

Afterwards, the skaters first concern was for the audience and whether we were warm enough, and yet they were the ones shivering away but standing out afterwards meeting us and saying hello. So, back in Montreal now, thank you Pascale, Alex, Samory, Taylor and Jasmin, it was a joy so see you in action, finally - chapeau! A la prochaine...






Note: Chocolat stars Omar Sy and James Thiérrée and is officially released in February. It is based on the true story of iconic clown duo Footit & Chocolat, the latter an ex-slave from Havana, a history I kow well, given the years I spent studying Cuban theatre and el teatro bufo. Omar Sy is best known for "The Intouchables", and James Thiérrée is the son of Victoria Thiérrée, who makes an appearance in Fellini's "I Clowns", herself in turn the daughter of Charlie Chaplin. They do not trade at all on the Chaplin legacy, but there is little doubt they inherited the gene. And it's funny too, speaking of Chaplin and skating, because I had tweeted Le Patin Libre this extract from his film "The Rink" which made them laugh too:



There have been pre-release parties in celebration, footage of which I spent last night retweeting - check out Arts on Mouvement @CIAM_aix #ChocolatLeFilm on Twitter and Instagram. I am looking forward to seeing the film when it hits the UK,  and making plans already to see it with the group I'll be doing the clown acting workshop with in February (see bottom of post on Marcel click here). Who else?! If nothing else, check out the stunning trailer - no English subtitles, but am sure you'll get the gist:

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Chapter 126: David Bowie: A Circus Response


"Life is a circus/It's not fair/Life is a hard road/When you're not there [...]
Friends come to see me/To see the show/When will they learn/The circus must go."
David Bowie - Life Is A Circus Lyrics (click here for full lyrics)




I remember one of the first conversations with Adrian Berry, Artistic Director of Jacksons Lane in Highgate, where we discovered a mutual appreciation of David Bowie and things have been Hunky Dory ever since. In fact, when I was having a clear out a while back, and came across my Aladdin Sane vinyl, I offered it to Ade, as I could think of no better home. Obviously he had it already, and so I've hung onto it, thank goodness, for now I wouldn't part with it for the world.  As I nicked it originally from my sister's room as a teenager, I suppose it isn't really mine to give away... But my point is that Bowie's music connects, in the same way that a love of circus does. Watch what happens when you say either word and see people's face light up instantly, or else look slightly blank.

As well as the music, there is Bowie's whole legacy in terms of fashion and the construction of identity, brought together at the V&A retrospective of his life. I juxtapose that to the Alexander McQueen exhibition I saw there, but there is a subtle difference. I felt pain for McQueen's troubled and tormented genius, with Bowie, I sense the peace of a life where the extravagancies of his on stage persona enriched his creativity rather than tore him apart, and his house was in order at the end.



Swinton and Bowie
Grayson Perry wrote a great article on Bowie Gender Maverick (click here). Being a child of the 70s, I didn't grow up in pink with barbies, but in dungarees with pudding bowl haircuts. But even so, Bowie exploded my mind on gender and sexuality long before I discovered writers like Virginia Woolf and Anaïs Nin, and began to travel down the feminist and queer critical theory route at university. I think of Bowie crossed with Tilda Swinton in the video The Stars (Are Out Tonight) (click here), any wonder she was the lead in the film of Woolf's Orlando? Nothing is fixed, reinvention is possible and constantly renewable - how exciting is that? I cut off my hair to look like a boy, I grew it, I dyed it, I experimented and celebrated the freak of being. So I was not surprised in the week that followed to see so many outpourings from the world of circus and cabaret, and I am collecting here the lyrics, reflections and images,  that caught my eye.

Life is a Circus is very early song by David Bowie released in the late 60s, and with the London International Mime Festival in full swing at the moment (www.mimelondon.com - click here), I especially appreciate that element of the video.





Then there is Bowie the Juggler - the Goblin King Jareth in Labyrinth and his mesmerising crystal ball - only now do I know it's called contact juggling. The local cinema in our town had shut down a few years before, so I remember reading the book first, with photo pictures at the centre, wondering who in their right mind would choose a baby brother over Bowie?! But I've only recently discovered it wasn't David Bowie actually juggling - if you want to keep your illusions look away now, but I have to say, I find the footage even more endearing:


Working with puppets is also a zeitgeist. Through a chance conversation about circus in a shop, I've recently met Maia Kirkman-Richards, the artistic director of an exciting new immersive puppet theatre company called House of Stray Cats www.houseofstraycats.com, worth keeping an eye on. And at the same time Metta Theatre (www.mettatheatre.co.uk) are presenting their work in development Blown Away (click here) at the National Circus today at 4.30pm that combines live music, acrobatics and puppetry.  And did you know the baby in Labyrinth is now a puppeteer in his own right? And he really is called Toby! Here is @Toby_Froud's tribute to Bowie:



One of the most powerful eulogies I read was by Reuben Kaye, a fabulous doyen of quick-draw repartee who I've seen MC at Boylexe and Red's Cabaret, quoted in full below. One point that stands out for me is the call to create out of the vacuum of loss. Our offering in trapeze class at National Circus, thanks to the creative spirit of our teacher Layla, was to spend the whole evening choreographing movements and sequences to Bowie numbers. It was very cathartic, and a show of solidarity, as I'm sure was the tribute at Union Chapel on Sunday, or will be the Bowie evening disco skate at Alexandra Palace on 5th February, along with events all over the UK.

And I was delighted to here rumours of revival of Adrian Berry's own play From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads about how we deal with loss, and how we try to gain control, when a young man inherits his father's own destructive obsession with Bowie. As Kaye says below, create more art. Just do it.

David Bowie - Reuben R Kaye's Facebook Page, post 11 January

The tragedy is that now there will be a generation to come who will only ever think of David Bowie as a past figure. A memory or "That Guy". They won't see how he changed art and music. They won't take us seriously when we say how much he drastically altered our lives, our conception of "queer", the way we create. That makes me very sad indeed. His death will "trend" for a while and then sadly he will be gone in all but memory, and that memory will distort.
David Bowie will now be a reference point instead of a fierce, raging, beautiful, revolutionary, and tragic clown. A man who cried out to the world: "I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, "Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman." and was. Watch and see the effect he had...The undeniable adoration this world feels for Bowie. His work has made him a man worthy of an entire planet's respect and love.
I beg you, please don't commodify or compact his life and work. And please create more music, more art...Just more.
The death of Bowie is made sweeter by remembering all the brilliant, life-changing art he leaves behind and the impossible, searing future he still inspires and is yet to inspire...
"The stars look very different today."
Vale David Bowie 1947-2016

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Chapter 125: "Marcel" at the London International Mime Festival

Marcello Magni in Marcel
Photo: Pascal Victor/ArtComArt
Do you ever feel that life is one long Takeshi’s Castle of absurd pitfalls and pratfalls? And that all you can do is pick yourself up, laugh it off and Carry On Up The Khyber?! That’s how winter has felt for me, and with a milestone birthday fast approaching, age comes into play. Maybe that’s why I am embracing the idea of clowning so wholeheartedly at the moment. In fact, I just signed up yesterday for a five day workshop in February back at The Poor School*, an extension of the workshop with Ira Seidenstein’s in November (see Clowning Around).  If I’m going to make a fool of myself, at least may it provide some form of entertainment.

So when professional clown Sean Kempton, currently on the other side of the world on tour with Cirque de Soleil, recommended I see Jos Houben at the Mime Festival, it went straight to the top of my wish-list. Houben was in two shows, a one-off performance of his acclaimed The Art of Laughter, and Marcel, in partnership with Marcello Magni, which opened the London International Mime Festival.

Restricted by the logistics of looking after a husband with a broken leg, and three children, I slipped out after lunch and was back before tea for for the Sunday matinée of Marcel, though it was sorely tempting to stow away in the back of the auditorium afterwards, and stay on for the Art of Laughter that followed. The first surprise was to read in the programme that “Marcel”, which I had assumed to be a nod to Marceau, was in fact a reference to a vest worn by labourers, the everyman. The second was to see Houben and Magni moving going up and down the aisles, meeting random members of the public - there was a generosity in that gesture that characterised the whole performance, and warmed up the audience before the show had even begun.

In a Kafkaesque scenerio, Magni, a short, compact, ageing Italian performer, has some sort of work permit that needs stamping, and Houben, a tall, gangly Belgian, sets all sorts of physical tests for him to pass first.  Each actor is uniquely funny, and together the chemistry generates a physical poetry in motion, making me think of the tradition of old where troubadors would  throw each other a line of verse to catch and develop. And of course the duo are a contemporary articulation of a long line of supreme clowns and comedy pairings: Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello, Morecombe & Wise, to name a few. 


The action revolves around a curved wooden scuplture - work of art, block, ramp, balance, slide, platform - that was a fulcrum for all manner of agile mishaps, stumbles and tumbles. And then there were classic gags, exquisitely timed, the cigarette that wouldn't light, the wayward umbrella, the rebellious springy stool - my cheeks were aching from start to finish at this "il bufo" brand of clowning. The flipside of the double-headed clowning coin was a beautiful nod to the poignant Pierrot, in a collar deftly made out of newspaper, ruffled by the breeze of time. At the end of the day, the joke is, none of us are getting out of this alive, and there are two ways of dealing with it this burlesque: you can either have a sense of humour failure about it, or laugh along with Marcel. Bravo! Chapeau! Bring it on! 




* Johannes Alinhac, aka "Butzi", is leading the five day workshop on Clown acting and creativity through body exercises at The Poor School, Kings Cross 22-26 February. Butzi is an actor and magician who has trained with Ira Seidenstein for many years, and uses his methodology, which is a powerful tool for any performer or storyteller. Contact Christopher Howell for more details. See event page (click here)

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Chapter 124: A New Year of Circus

Photo: Underground tube
www.simonkay.co.uk (click here)
In the bleak midwinter... well, it's pretty grim (reaper), isn't it? Damp and dark, rain on rain, without even the guts for snow. I wonder if that's why the London International Mime Festival (LIMF) in January, hot on the heels of Twelfth Night, throws up such a veritable feast of innovative performances from the world of visual and physical theatre. There are 18 shows all told, as well as workshops and screenings of vintage classic circus films. For the full low-down, background and everything you need to know, read Donald Hutera's interview with co-directors Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig at www.run-riot.com (click here)

I have to confess, for me it makes slightly painful reading as I can only make a couple of events this year. "Tasty" and "tantalising" are the adjectives that head up Donald Hutera's article, and indeed I do feel the taste buds in my mouth welling up, and watering, on reading the description of each show in turn. Still, it's relative progress on last year when I couldn't make any at all.

On Sunday, 10 January, I will be seeing Marcel with and by Jos Houben and Marcello Magni (www.mimelondon.com - click here), which opens the festival at the Shaw Theatre. It ticks a number of boxes. As someone who has just signed up to another workshop in clowning and improvisation in February, it will be an eye opener looking at physical movement. And as someone with a significant birthday creeping up next month the description "despite the fact that the age of his body no longer allows the agility of his youth, he still has a trump-card up his sleeve: his child spirit" struck a chord. Make that a gong! I would love to see Jos Houben in The Art of Laughter as well, and am looking forward to hearing about it from friends.  Nola Rae's superb workshop The Clown Speaks Without Words (click here), would that I could, is on 9 and 10 January: click here.


Photo: Ockham's Razor - Tipping Point
www.canvas-london.org.uk
I will be going to Jacksons Lane a couple of weeks later to see Aneckxander (click here), "a raw self-portrait in which the body exposes itself to and tries to escape from the prying eyes of those looking at it." I've heard Alexander is a phenomenal performer, and as a blogger, this idea of the artist's ambivalence towards the necessary exposure of performance resonates particularly at the moment. 

Two of the companies in the listings I have seen in action before.  I caught an excerpt of Swedish Svalbard's All Genius All Idiot (click here) in a pitch at the circus market place Canvas at Jacksons Lane in April. They are mad, surreal, funny, moving and push the limits - the mind boggles at what could be in store in the full-length version. Meanwhile I saw Ockham's Razor in action for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer, and was blown away. I haven't seen Tipping Point (click here) but this is a stunningly innovative aerial theatre company and not to be missed. 

In other news, Proteus Theatre is touring my home county of Hampshire at the moment with a production of Little Red and the Wolves (click here)We had a superb time at their family show Rapunzel last year (click here), and while this year it is not a circus show per se, it stars, among others, Kaveh Rahnama, who I've seen in a couple of circus productions, and know it will appeal to anyone with a circus spirit. Ends 17th January.

The superb Canadian acrobatic skaters Le Patin Libre are at Somerset House this week, as mentioned in post Clowning on Ice (click here), with their unique blend of circus meets performance art on ice.


This clown here is also hoping at some point to fulfil a certain pledge to the Slapstick Festival in Bristol 20-25th January, see http://www.slapstick.org.uk, which screens silent comedy classics, has a gala and all sorts going on.

After seeing Zippos at Winter Wonderland, I am looking forward to catching the huge variety of stunts and contemporary circus skills on offer in their show Cirque Berserk now on tour and back in London at the Peacock Theatre, Sadlers Wells 8-24 February. www.cirqueberserk.co.uk (click here).

On my wishlist, La Soirée is in full swing (click here for last year's cryptic guide) and, as well as the familiar favourites, I would love to see the new acts, like resident clown Mooky Cornish - see the review in Time Out (click here) - ends 17th January.

And then there is Cirque de Soleil's Amaluna at the Royal Albert Hall which promises to "send your heart soaring to places it's never been before." www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna

For further news on other circus treats this January see Kate Kavanagh: www.thisiscabaret.com/circus-treats-whats-on-in-january
For the annual circus reunion taking place in Nottingham see: www.thisiscabaret.com/circus-reunion-2016
Circus Development Forum at the National Centre for Circus Arts on 14 January see: www.nationalcircus.org.uk/professional-artists/circus-development-forum

Happy New Year and here's to the bright times ahead! 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Chapter 123: Why blog?


Photo: www.jeanjullien.com
creator of the Peace for Paris symbol

"She never entirely let go of the notion that if she reached far enough with her thoughts she might find someone waiting, that if two people were to cast their thoughts outwards they might somehow meet somewhere in the middle."
- Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven

I have just finished reading "Station Eleven", a terrific post-apocalyptic novel on memory, loss and the regenerative power of art. And as we start the new year, the quote above sums up for me the great WHY? Why write? Why blog? Why put anything out there on social media?! Now onto my next read, "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss, the narrator again strikes a chord:
"When I was a boy I liked to write. It was the only thing I wanted to do with my life. I invented imaginary people and filled notebooks with their stories. [...] When I got older I decided I wanted to be a real writer. I tried to write about real things. I wanted to describe the world, because to live in an undescribed world was too lonely." 

Looking back through the most popular posts of the past year (in terms of number of hits) I am struck by the fact that half these posts almost didn't get written - either because I nearly didn't make the event concerned, or because I was nervous about revealing too much of myself. Time and again, the reward has been a private email, a public voice, an invitation, a nomination...  and I return again and again to this idea that our true strength lies in opening up like a fan, even when the temptation is to snap shut. 

So thank you for connecting, looking forward now to the year ahead.


From top left (anticlockwise) - click on link for corresponding post:


Sunday, 3 January 2016

Chapter 122: The Art of Mime and Subversive Fashion


Photo: Nancy Lu (click here)
"Marcel Marceau’s extraordinary talent for pantomime entertained audiences around the world for over sixty years. It also saved hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust."

So begins a Facebook tribute by the "Accidental Talmudist" to Marcel Marceau as a Silent Holocaust hero (click here to read the fascinating account in full), both as entertainer and brave, quick-thinking member of the French resistance, whose actions saved countless lives. Mime, for Marceau, became an expression and acknowledgment of the unspeakable, on losing his father in the Auschwitz he later says:
"The people who came back from the camps were never able to talk about it. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.” 

Photo: www.culturekiosque.com

The article made me think of a film that had been recommended to me recently, "Les Enfants du Paradis", Children of Paradise. Set in 1820s Paris, that tells the tale of the beautiful Garance and the four men in her life, although she really loves only one, the mime artist Baptiste, played by Jean-Louis Barrault, a contemporary of Marcel Marceau. Baptiste, springing from the margins of pantomime and society, directs his performance to the poor, the "children" in the theatre gods, "le paradis", and that revolutionary act makes my heart go out to him as much as the tragic beauty of the romance itself.   

Made during the Second World War, in Nazi occupied France, the filming had also been a site of resistance, giving daytime cover to résistants, and sheltering banned Jewish set designer Alexandre Trauner, and composer Joseph Kosma, who could only be credited after the war. I finally watched the film on New Year's Eve, with my son, equally spellbound, delighted that I had the foresight to give a copy to my pierrot-loving sister for Christmas. The following day, I compared notes with my mother, who had seen the film at the Dominion cinema in Edinburgh, shortly after the war. Her class was taken by their French teacher, who had herself spent the war in France fighting with the Resistance, and the film had made a deep and lasting impression.



www.papermag.com (click here)
To go from the sublime to the mondaine, I was struck by an article (click here) recently on the growing trend in New York, for clowncore parties. Kickstarted by party gurus Olivia Galov (fashion designer @lilburger on Instagram) and Abby Fiscus, it's popularity stems from the way it resists the exclusivity of the New York party scene. As Fiscus says: 
"People can't judge me if I'm a clown. There are a lot of clowns in New York nightlife, whether they admit it or not."

I wonder, then, when the trend will kick off over here? According to a light-hearted post on clowns by Tom Hocknell (www.tomhocknell.wordpress.com - click here) Bestival had to cancel a clown-themed festival  a couple of years ago, replacing it with superheroes, when alerted to a high number of coulrophobia sufferers buying tickets. Still, time moves on quickly, John Galliano has been readmitted into the fashion establishment, sending neon-caked clown models down Parisian runways last year, surely it's only a matter of time before they pop up in their own Circus Space in Hoxton...