Bobbo Roberts has been a clown since he was 13-years-old and, without wishing to give his age away, 2016 is his 30th in the business.
In the second part of a two-part interview (you can read the first part here) he gave me his views on what it takes to be a clown and the future of clowning in Britain.
What tips would you give an aspiring clown?
Don't become a clown because you want to be funny, become a clown because you NEED to be funny. A wiser man than I once said clowns aren't made, they are born. You can learn all the skills in the world, buy the most expensive costume and the biggest boots and never be a clown. If there's something inside you that is already a clown just waiting to be born it will come out by itself. You need to love people, watch them interact, study from past masters who've paved the way for you. You never stop learning or growing. There isn't a magic formula that will make you a clown, but if it is your passion and you look for inspiration everywhere your clown will let you know where you need to be. Oh and if you've ever thought it's ok, I can mess up, I'm supposed to be clown, or looked at a cheap afro wig and thought this is my look then maybe consider a career in accountancy, because it's not for you. You have to be yourself as a clown. I can't tell you how to be YOUR clown but I can say you'll know it's for you if you always seek out new opportunities to learn and to work in different places and ways.
|Bobbo is a proud member of the|
Grand Order of the Water Rats
and is seen here with fellow members
comedy legend Ken Dodd
and legendary scriptwriter Jimmy Perry,
co-writer of Dad's Army.
Please tell us a bit about your part in Love Labour Lost (Bobbo was supporting Simon Thompson's Clown Noir in a production at Britain's oldest music hall in 2015) and how it differs from what you’ve done before?
It's a different experience working in a theatre as opposed to in the sawdust ring. I only recently started working theatres this past winter. There's a lot to be learned from working with other talented performers such as Simon. His style is more theatrical but he has worked in circus and street too. My main reason for working this kind of show is that I want to tread the boards where some of the greats have worked and let Bobbo out to play on the music hall stage. It's been in his heart for a while (and in his blood). It's about time it was under his feet too. Clowning has always grown and adapted to the world around it, after all it's a reflection of the world. So I thought what better way to bring my clowning bang up to date than performing in the world's oldest surviving music hall in my 30s-style way with a clown doing Shakespeare.
How do you see the future of clowning in Britain?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I’d just like to say how proud I am to be a member of the Grand Order of Water Rats, and how I love my folks and my Gillian and two boys, Logan named after a well known Scottish music hall comic called Jimmy logan, and Bailey, named after Bailey Fossett my god father. It's the next lot of Roberts Brothers.
For more on clowns and clowning, read Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book for Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus. Click here to read the reviews.
The new, updated 2nd Edition includes my meeting with Bobbo at Peter Jolly's Circus!