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29th Sep 2021

Clown shortage leads to calls for new recruits in Northern Ireland

Danny Jones

Clown shortage

Forget the fuel shortage

Apparently, the supply of clowns in Northern Ireland is running drastically low and there are now appeals for new recruits.

David Duffy, co-owner of Duffy’s Circus, told the BBC that like many other businesses, professional clowns and the circus industry in general, have been hit hard by Covid-19.

Back in July 2020, they had to appeal to the government for a rescue package and those in the industry have had to find ways to cope throughout the pandemic.

For instance, during lockdown Fries Neumann and her husband Henrik (who also plays a clown called Jarl) set up a circus tent in their garden, allowing them to continue to rehearse and perform during the layover period.

Although the government announced a £1.57bn support package for arts venues struggling with the negative financial impact of the shutdown in July 2020, it is believed that this doesn’t include circuses.

As for Duffy, his circus has been closed for more than 500 days and despite restrictions allowing them to tour in Northern Ireland again soon, many performers have had to go abroad for work in countries that have opened up more quickly.

As such, he is now putting the call-out for new performers, saying that: “we’re trying to reach out for any of our folks at home who feel that they can give it a go.”

When asked what he thinks makes a good clown, he said that you need to be able to be “vulnerable” and “poke fun at yourself, it’s not about poking fun at other people.”

So, for our Northern Irish friends and whoever else who has a bit of spare time on their hands, what do you reckon? Think you could be next to pull on the red nose, wig and a pair of big daft shoes?

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