WITH HALLOWEEN around the corner, both the online and real worlds are suffering from a ‘killer clown’ craze which does a disservice to a noble art form. In Galway, Halloween occurs on the final day of the Vodafone Comedy Carnival – probably the largest gathering of true clowns in Ireland.
Some might argue that without white faces and red noses we have no clowns, but not so. The definition of a clown is someone who plays the role of a fool, whose everyday actions and tasks become extraordinary—and for whom the ridiculous, for a short while, becomes ordinary.
This year’s Comedy Carnival contains a choice selection of clowns. They might not all climb out of the same car, but arguably, they all wear the same shoes. Take Paul Currie for instance. This Northern Irish comic is a self-described "bohemian clownarchist" whose fans include Stewart Lee and Tony Law. If Tim Burton created Mr Bean he could not have envisaged anything as startlingly original as Mr Currie.
Spencer Jones’ prop-heavy goofery has an exuberant silliness which harkens back to the earliest days of classic vaudevillian clowns. Think of PJ Gallagher in his shiny suited Jake Steven’s persona. Or Jason Byrne as himself... How about Barry Murphy pulling on his Gunther wig? Foil Arms and Hog attended a genuine clown college and write all their sketches at Clown HQ but this year’s king of clowns is surely Sam Simmons.
Last year’s winner of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award, Sam is bringing his Not A People Person show to Galway. If you fancy an hour of absurdity, this is a tour of the comic spectrum - physical comedy, musical comedy, sketch and character work, puns, one-liners, shaggy dog stories, mime, crowd work, visual gags, and more. It really is killer comedy.
For tickets see www.vodafonecomedycarnival.com