“I have to say, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into with this one. The Omnitorium is a quirky little venue near Manor House that contains a pirate ship, red phone box and what appears to be a low-level sparkly prison. And that’s just in the outside courtyard. In true British summer(ish) style, Pimms and cider were available, and the mood was set with some of the performers circulating amongst the crowd. Not your standard evening out.

The inaugural London Clown Festival, from its free opening cabaret night of a varied mix of acts, has much to offer. From puppets to women dressed as sperm, you are guaranteed to laugh, giggle, and in all possibility, feel joyously childish as you savour the various delights on offer. Not only is it great fun, each evening’s entertainment is only £5 (£6.50 on the door), which is a rare price to pay for a good night out in London. For the next nine evenings, North London will trot out some weird and wonderful delights for your viewing pleasure.

The venue itself is something between a Big Top and a London bus, with a few benches and coach seats thrown in for good measure. Once it gets going, there’s a real community feel as the audience interact with the acts and each other, giving it a thoroughly playful air. All of which makes it a relaxed and fun experience which has a genuine community feel to it.

Hosting this evening were the pervy puppets Boris and Sergei (don’t sit in the front unless you want to be stroked – trust me I know) who are remarkably lifelike considering the three people operating them, and who respond with amusing improvisation based on the audience’s reaction. Perhaps my favourite act was The Establishment, a stiff-upper-lip pair of gents who ridiculed and prodded the audience with hilarious results. Also a highlight was Inda Pereda, whose visual and verbal clowning created startlingly real and incredibly funny scenarios. Ken Do and Ben Target were delightfully awkward and versatile, while Helen Duff was a blabbering bundle of hilarity to round the evening off.

Things took a serious turn when Ash from the Flying Seagulls Project came to talk about his work in refugee camps in Greece, offering the troubled children in desperate situations a chance to do something so simple and so carefree that it allows them to remember their humanity – to laugh. Definitely one to support if you get the chance.

All in all, it’s certainly one to look out for if you are on the look out for an alternative evening of entertainment.”

London Clown Festival – The Omnitorium London

★★★★

 “guaranteed to laugh, giggle, feel joyously childish”

Guest Review by Sarah Tinsley

Listings
Dates: 10th – 19th June 2016
Venue: The Omnitorium, Eade Road, N4 1DH London, United
Time: vary by event, from early afternoon to evening (Press night 8:30pm)
Price: £5 in advance, £6 on the door (unless otherwise stated on event info)
Tickets: http://www.londonclownfest.co.uk/index.html

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