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★★★☆☆

“Above average show, but below average clowning. ”

Written on: 12/08/2011

It is clowning such as the audience were presented with at Preston, that puts another nail in the coffin of the travelling circus in Britain. The clown puts a lot of effort into getting the audience to shout and scream and considerably less into being as funny as clowns are meant to be, but more about this later.

The act themselves were more slanted towards grace and elegance than absolute danger. Danger was, as always, in the elevated acts of course, but it was not highlighted as it should. Contortionists, juggling and a unicycle act, are only dangerous if the contortionists have bad backs, the juggler drops an Indian club on his head, and perhaps the unicyclist gets a slow puncture !!

The acts were all good at what they did, some having more than one act, but the African troupe were particular exciting to watch. It was a lovely touch that at the end of the show, that the artists lined up at the public entrance/exit to thank the folks for coming.

Now back to the clown. He was only really funny when his colleague joined him for the good old fashioned slapstick. There was water and foam everywhere. I was glad I was not ringside as they got a good share of all the goo. It was quite hilarious and what `proper` clowning should really be about. Blowing a football whistle instead of doing something humourous for 10 minutes, quickly gets boring and is only funny for the first couple of minutes.

Zippos Circus (Phoenix) is good with very acceptable productiion values, but really, the clown should stop wasting a lot of time with trying to elicit a public response and by blowing football whistles, instead he should be concentrating of being funny. If he does this, the public response will take care of itself.