‘Clowns have been given a bad press but we’re really not scary’ says performer as Circus Wonderland gears up to make its first ever visit to Letchworth

PUBLISHED: 14:21 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:21 25 September 2017

Award-winning clown duo, Mr Popol (standing) and Kakehole (sitting), will be coming to perform in Letchworth. Picture: Paul Carpenter

Award-winning clown duo, Mr Popol (standing) and Kakehole (sitting), will be coming to perform in Letchworth. Picture: Paul Carpenter

Archant

Clowns have unfairly been given a bad reputation and are essential to the survival of the circus.

That’s the message spelled out by one leading performer for Circus Wonderland which will visit Letchworth next week.

The circus which will set up its Big Top on the Recreation Ground promises to bring heaps of family fun – from high flying acrobats to clowns and tumblers – when it visits the town next week.

Highlights of the popular circus show include a UK debut for the Casablanca Troupe – a group of whirlwind tumblers – who will be showing off their fearless thrusts through the air across the arena. The fearless Marton Perna will be performing an exhilarating collaboration of stunts on his BMX.

Other show stopping acts include trapeze star Nadia, who will be defying gravity on the roof of the Big Top, while Ruslan Arlanov will be spinning into the spotlight with his revolving Wonder Wheel.

Audiences should expect mess and mishaps when the award-winning clown duo, Kakehole and Mr Popol bring music, magic and mayhem to the stage.

Paul Carpenter, who plays Mr Popol told the Comet: “We have worked together as a comedy double act for the last fifteen years, firstly for different circuses, but it was always our dream to start our own show, which we did in 2012.

“The show is very much based around the two of us, I am the traditional ‘whiteface’ clown, very elegant in my sequinned costumes, and Kakehole is what we call the ‘auguste’ clown - with the familiar red nose, big boots and baggy trousers.

“I act as the host of the show, and try to keep everything running smoothly, but unfortunately Kakehole keeps interrupting, upstaging me and causing chaos!”

The circus company is based near Portsmouth, and travels around the UK from February until November, making appearances in Cambridge during Easter time, and regular visits to Stevenage and Luton.

Paul added: “Clowns are getting a bit of a hard time at the moment, with a growing trend of people associating clowns as being scary.

“This was very bad last year when we had the craze of people in rubber clown masks terrorising people in the streets. This definitely affected our business.

“Clowns have been popular figures of fun for centuries. Many circuses now are using clowns that don’t really look like clowns, they are Lee Evans style comics with minimal makeup who act out sketches with audience members involved.

“We firmly believe that the majority of children who come to the circus expect clowns to be colourful and larger than life, like a cartoon come to life, with lots of slapstick and mess and mayhem.

“Some children are apprehensive when they first enter the Big Top, but when they have seen the show and got to know our clown characters they always want photographs with us by the end.

“In the towns that we visit regularly the clowns have a very loyal following. We really are not seeking to frighten people, just to entertain.”

Circus Wonderland will be open for business at Baldock Road Recreation Ground in Letchworth from Wednesday, October 4, until Sunday, October 8. Weekday performances are at 4.30pm and 7.30pm, Saturday at 2pm and 5pm and Sunday at 2pm. For more information, contact the box office on 07531 612240 or visit www.circuswonderland.co.uk.

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