Lowestoft hosted a convention with a difference as Lowestoft held the UK Clown Gathering Convention
For professional clowns their slapstick and tomfoolery is no laughing matter (sort of!). While for years these performers have worked hard to tickle ribs they also want people to understand the craft behind their antics and the UK Clown Gathering Convention is their opportunity to educate people in the ways of silliness.
Amongst other things the convention involved a number of workshops such as how to apply makeup, balloon modelling and how to build a rapport with the audience. The event also gave clowns the opportunity to exchange props and other items on various stands as well as advice on topics such as managing bookings and maximising laughs from funny backdrops etc.
For clowns there is the challenge of how their profession is perceived (a number of people have what is known as coulrophobia (fear of clowns). In recent years this negative perception has been exacerbated by some horror films and characters such as Krusty The Klown in The Simpsons. However event organiser Andy the clown is quick to play this down “People are scared of dogs and I myself am scared of spiders…It is the same with clowns, some people are scared of them! Clowns as a whole are bright enough and intelligent enough to keep away from people who have the phobia.”
According to Andy while this does exist he is also keen to emphasise that clowns remain popular “It doesn’t affect us and I’m busier every year!”
What is clear is that events like this will help to maintain the positive image of clowning for years to come.