Saras Feijóo explains why the festival hopes to share the humanity within the art of the contemporary clown
In recent years, the art of clowning has been moving towards centre stage in Scotland. Following on from the popular Clown Cabaret Scratch Night, Saras Feijóo presents the first Edinburgh Contemporary Clown Festival, with a chance to see international stars of this dynamic form of physical theatre.
'Ultimately, it is about revealing the humanity that we have within ourselves, a humanity that society so often encourages us to hide behind masks,' says Feijóo. The festival includes visits from Switzerland's Gardi Hutter and Ricardo Puccetti from Brazil, while it's a homecoming for Leith-born Johnny Melville, who became legendary for his work during the 1970s. Workshops complete the programme, presenting a brief yet comprehensive overview of the diversity within current clowning.
As well as producing the festival, Feijóo performs and acts as an advocate for the form through Clownstepping. Her collaboration with Melanie Jordan and Tim Licata led to the scratch nights, which revealed both a depth of clown talent in Scotland and an audience ready for more. 'The gift that contemporary clown brings to us is going through the "uncomfortability" of looking at ourselves to find our vulnerability, our playful side, and our own individual way of doing things,' says Feijóo. 'Clown gives us a different dimension, so it's a great addition to the Scottish cultural rainbow which already has many colours.'
Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh, Thu 3–Sat 5 May