The Antidote

1) Tell us about your show in the festival and why you’re doing it?

The Antidote is the third part of a trilogy of circus tragedies that I began with my one-woman show Lionheart.  The Antidote is set in the same circus, and presents two clowns, Smartypants and Smartyboots, who fight to make the best of everything that keeps going wrong all around them, and to patch up their fractured friendship at the same time.  Lionheart is very text heavy, and I wanted to balance that out with a companion piece that is highly physical and wonderful fun – a joy bomb for the audience and the performers. Oh…and there are many, many cream pies in this show.

2) Is your number clown, bouffon, character or something else entirely? 

Clown – but we’re bridging the divide between circus clown and theatrical clown, both thematically and stylistically.

3) What is your best clown experience? Either as a performer or a spectator?

Participating in clownin, an international festival of women clowns, in Vienna in 2010, both as a performer and as a spectator.  The piece I presented is quite political and it went really, really well. It was amazing and gratifying to perform in front of a sold-out crowd from another country. I received wonderful feedback on my work, in terms of audience reaction and then afterward from the general public and the other performers.  Watching the other performances during the week-long festival was very inspirational, particularly work by Lila Monti from Argentina and Marta Carbayo from Spain. It was also wonderful to meet women clowns from Brazil, Scandinavia, Russia, Austria and the Netherlands and to see the diverse approaches to the art form. In fact, it was during clownin that the idea for The Antidote presented itself – I had never, every considered doing a duo piece involving cream pies before.

5) Your worst?

I was performing at a lunchtime show with Toronto Masque Theatre at Toronto’s Four Seasons Opera House and my glue-on nose started falling off…there was no way to keep it on except by turning away from the audience, jamming the nose on really hard, and then turning back and finishing the show with my head tilted waaaaaay back.

6) Are there any public figures you consider to be clowns?  Why? 

Hmmm….I’d say that there are far more who are buffon.  Marilyn Manson is one of the greatest modern buffon I’ve ever seen. He gets away with amazing things on stage and his songs are often a strong indictment of the ruling or celebrity class.

7) Tell us a joke. 

I can’t tell jokes. Really. I’m very bad at it.

8)  Anything else…?

Shantelle and I have been having a grand time in rehearsal and can’t wait to get in front of an audience! We’re very excited to present the world premiere of The Antidote at the Toronto Festival of Clowns.

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