Clowns are a bit like Marmite, you either love or hate them; as a child you either ran to the hills when they got out of their tiny clown car at parties or were desperate to one day grow up to become one. It turns out, however, the latter is not quite as easy as donning oversized shoes and rouging your nose redder than Rudolf. And we should know, we asked quite possibly the most famous clown in the world, the brilliant Slava Polunin.
Russian clown royalty Polunin created one of London’s most popular festive favourites, Slava’s Snowshow. After being wowed by the quite magical show’s eccentric and beautiful snow-tastic heart when we popped in to see it at the Southbank Centre last week, we decided we wanted to find out more about the art of clowning and what it takes to be one. Luckily Polunin was happy to oblige and provided us with his suitably quirky Ten Things You Might Not Know About Slava’s Clowns Manifesto. Read on and get knitting clown enthusiasts (yes, really)….
1. The basics
Not anybody can become a clown. Only clowns.
2. It’s a fool’s game
All of Slava’s clowns are handpicked on the basis of being 100% authentic fools. The selection criteria is not scientifically empiric and factors such as the size of shoes, the name of the grandmother and the direction of wind can alter the selection process.
3. Romance is key
To make a clown requires one romantic night with a lot of love and a small dose of destiny.
4. Caffeine free
Slava’s clowns train to be silly no less than eight hours and 14 minutes per day with no coffee break.
5. You nose it
Every fool makes his own tailor made nose.
Clowns dream of sleeping.
7. Extracurricular fun
A clown’s favourite hobbies include: Fishing from the sauna, knitting scarves and Christmas trees, misbehaving, building totems, checking in at the airport counter, tying knots, rejoicing, not growing up and taking pictures of things that do not exist.
8. From the heart
Clowns love their job and life. The playfulness resulting from this is extremely contagious. What comes from the heart goes to the heart.
9. Fashionably late
Slava’s clowns celebrate April Fool’s Day on 2 April.
10. Snow joke
The amount of snow used by the clowns in each show is enough to make everybody’s heart warm up.