And finally – for this month anyway – a report in that august UK national daily newspaper, The Daily Mail, last week revealed that Clowns International, the UK’s sole organisation representing these performers, has seen its membership drop from almost 1,000 in the 1980s to just over 100 currently. Moreover, the average age of Clowns International’s members is rising, as fewer young people join its ranks.
Could clowning be in crisis? Whatever would we do for a laugh if clowning was closed as a career?
Thankfully, a look at both the public service and private enterprise sectors of the economy shows that there’s no chance of that ever happening.
Back in the 1880s, WS Gilbert wrote a song for the character Ko-Ko in the Savoy Opera, The Mikado, in which he said that: ‘…All funny fellows, comic men and clowns of private life – They’d none of them be missed…’ It happened then. It still happens now. Nothing has really changed.
There are still plenty of clowns in our society. We encounter them every day – even if they don’t always make us laugh at their antics. They’re just thinly disguised and pretending to be anything other than what they really are.