Review: Clowns

Smock Alley

Better known as a musical comedy group, Dead Cat Bounce take the old chestnut about the crying clown and mine the concept to produce an invigoratingly hilarious show. Backstage after a particularly disastrous show, a trio of children’s jesters – arthritic, world-weary Bobo (Shane O’Brien), pretentious Bozo (James Walmsley) and overeager Binky (Damien Fox) – decide to call time on their unsuccessful partnership, having grown fed up with performing to four-year-olds. (Bozo notes he got into the business to play to six-to-eight year olds.) As they analyse their shortcomings and assess their fading prospects – “A lot can happen in two years,” Bozo tells Bobo, “two years ago you had a wife and a son” – a few telling points about the addictive pull of the stage are made, not least in the finale. But mostly, the show, zippily directed by Megan Riordan, has enough quick-fire gags and belly laughs to make the best clown cry with envy.

Until Saturday
Mick Heaney

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