What Happened At The Chaos Clown Cabaret?

May 26 2021

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Here's our clowns warming up

On Friday 21st May 2021, to kick off our Clowning Out of Chaos Conference, 12 brave clowns from all around the globe presented their brand new clown numbers on Zoom at the Clowning Out Of Chaos Cabaret.

These clowns had all attended The Online Clown Academy's Zoom Clown 3 - Personal and Political Performance course, where they'd all been led through and exploration of creating original performance from their own life experiences and political passions by clown teachers Holly Stoppit and Robyn Hambrook.

Their pieces explored a diverse range of themes including the discomfort of leaving their safe bubbles, heartbreak, homelessness, the ridiculous bluster of politicians, the need to question authority, the yearning for acceptance and the desire to unplug from technology.

Bee Golding, our poet-in-residence captured the essence of the night in this poem, which she read out at the end of the show.

Bee’s Cabaret Poem - aka it’s all a bit dada round here...

Clown allies are here
Clown allies are we
All warmed up and ready to pee!

Staying in and going out
Frantic, frenetic
We’re all deciding and its
So hard to choose

Do not sift through our dustbins
Open a box of clowns
Sweeping past so fast
And you’ll see the labour of dogs
And a spider that tip toes
Into your home

The landscape and your heart
Make me dance
Torn apart
Into tiny 
Heart-shaped pieces

Unimportant, impertinent
Ministry of piles and policies
On a podium
We’re all safe in their hands

Jazz clown
With a magic peek-a-boo monkey
And bluster and gusto
Go to the flowerful meadow
And hug and dance with a tree
Even trash monsters
Need to be seen
With their masks stuffed with flowers
It's a battle

Don't mask your artistic expression
Pose just so
And attack with aplomb
Keep that global green screen clean
And then the ghost of zoom 
Will walk away

And at the end of it all
Our energy sapped
And none to spare
We’ll tantalise you
And strip away our layers
Sidle away
As all good clowns do

Audience Responses

At the end of the cabaret, the audience shared their feedback in the chat box and on the screen. Here's what some of them said:

“clappety clap clap clap!”

“Worth getting up at 5 am for, wonderful gentle clever clowns”

“great work doing all this over zoom as well, it's really slick and is working really well together. Well done everyone!”

“Well done everyone... Very entertaining”

“Wonderful performances from everyone, sweet, sad, joyful and mad.”

“I feel the energy! Great!”

“Excellent show! well done. Thanks for entertaining the pants off me.. oh no.. my pants!”

“Each one of you clowns so different so unique so creative...Keep up clowning the world around!”

What next?

We're proud as punch of all our clowns. We hope they find opportunities to play their pieces for other audiences and continue to create and share their beautiful, meaningful nonsense.

More about The Online Clown Academy

Watch a film of The Clowning Out of Chaos Panel Discussion

Find out what happened at The Clowning Out Of Chaos Open Space

The Online Clown Academy FB page

The Online Clown Academy FB group

Twitter / IG

Holly Stoppit's youtube channel

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