TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: various

@ Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, The Broadway, Crouch End, London E8 9JJ

Tickets: from £7.50 book online

www.londonclownfest.co.uk

The festival returns and will be located in the Art Deco splendour of Hornsey Town Hall to bring a multitude of shows to four venues within the building.

Featuring highly acclaimed artists, alongside up and coming new talent from across the globe. London Clown Festival will maintain its founding principles remaining a celebration of physical comedy and clown influenced contemporary performance, exploring various forms of clowning and sharing the joy, exhilaration and surprise with a wide breadth of audiences both young and old and to help to explore the image of Clown in the public consciousness, igniting a new passion in audiences.

Lightheaded, whimsical, anarchic, dark and political performers all find a home within the festival. The court jester spoke the truth to the King without punishment or penalty and this subversive performance tradition continues.

In its inaugural year in 2016, London Clown Festival, the first of its kind in London, set out to celebrate the rise of modern clowning, bringing amazing physical performers who could make people laugh with a twitch of their eyebrows into one place.

Highlights of the 2017 festival include Red Bastard, Natalie Palamides: Laid (co-devised and directed by Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner Dr Brown) Zach & Viggo: Dream Team (Winners – Best Comedy, Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award and Best Comedy Brighton Fringe) Jamie Wood: I Am A Tree (Total Theatre Award for Innovation Nominee) Twisted Loaf Are Off Yeast (Funny Women Award winners) and many more, including workshops yet to be announced.

Clowning has been growing in popularity and its reputation changing over the last few years, with a number of high profile and award winning performers coming to the forefront of the comedy industry, moving away from stereotypes of red noses and squirty flowers and towards the sophisticated silliness of physical comedy at its greatest.

Last year the festival recognised the upsurge of comedy and theatre performers who have been influenced by the teachings of legendary physical performance trainers Lecoq and Gaulier and many of these students have gone on to become celebrated award winning artists. However, Clown remains somewhat of an enigma to the general public who still sometimes think only of the stereotypical image of the clown as found in circus performance, complete with big shoes and painted faces. Or of course as the figures of fear as seen the spate of scary clown sightings on the UK streets last year.