For the city’s favourite MBA graduate-turned-clown, Martin D’Souza aka Flubber, the second edition of International Clown Festival is like a family reunion. However, at the festival which kick-starts on Friday, Flubber and Canadian unicycling clown Mike Hirschbach are the only two returning to the city. But for D’Souza, it’s a reunion for members of this amusing world. “We are bringing six new clowns from USA, Canada and Malaysia. And all of us have performed with each other in different parts of the world. So it’s somewhat a get-together,” he explains.
Busy with pre-events of the fest that start this Tuesday, D’Souza is putting together clowning workshops that teach everything from juggling to balloon sculpting. His entourage of caring clowns will also be seen visiting city malls and schools as well as embarking on a Patch Adams-esque path and perform for cancer patients and street kids in Mumbai.
“Clowning in India isn’t taken as seriously. In the US, clowns comfort ailing children in hospitals and teach kids fire safety with their skits. Hopefully, people here will realise that clowning too is a skilled profession,” he says. Taking cue here is Malaysian clown Sam Tee, also known as Uncle Button, who uses humour for relief. “Sam is known for using laughter as a form of therapy,” says D’Souza. Featuring acts by aerial performers like Kristin Langille and magic tricks and stilt walking by others like Joe Duh Clown, D’Souza emphasises that the highlight of the three-day festival is its 100-minute laugh riot. “We have been working on this theatrical production. I’ve penned down six songs, to which the clowns will perform their special skill, one trick at a time. We will also release our music CD there,” he adds.
The jack-in-the-box moment, however, will be the finale where all the clowns will come together. “It’s a special act, where we all do something we haven’t attempted so far. But I don’t want to spoil the fun by revealing too much,” he adds.