LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Monday, 29 February 2016

Arthur Pedlar - From Emmett Kelly to Buster Keaton, The Years of a Clown

What a privilege it was to sit in 'Clown Alley' this week and watch 83-year-old clown Arthur Pedlar putting on his make up for a show at the Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft as part of the week-long Clown Gathering UK.

What stories he tells - as clearly as if they were yesterday - from the day he was inspired to clown at the age of six when he saw the legendary American hobo clown Emmett Kelly at Bertram Mills Circus in 1938, to working with Buster Keaton and appearing at Russia's 1886 circus building in St Petersburg.

What else has he done? He was the first living non-American clown to be voted into the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Centre, Milwaukee; he was President of the World Clown Association 2003/2004; and is Honorary President of the Circus School of Israel which, as its raison d'tere teaches Palestinian and Jewish youngsters together. Oh yes, and he used to ride 8ft-tall unicycles!

Usually, Arthur is the auguste clown Vercoe, but for this special appearance among and before the cream of British clowns, he became the rarely seen these days musical whiteface clown Arturo.

Bobbo catches up with his reading at the Seagull.
For more on clowns and clowning, be like Bobbo and read Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book for Anyone who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus!!

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