Clown Scenes

Front Cover
I.R. Dee, Jan 1, 1997 - Performing Arts - 244 pages
The intimacy of the one-ring circus produced the classic clown routines that flourished until the mid-twentieth century and then disappeared with the rise of the grand circus. They have been lost until now. By seeking out the little band of surviving clowns who worked in the old tradition and setting down their scenes, Tristan Remy, the eminent circus historian, has rescued a theatrical treasure. Thanks to Remy s persistence, the forty-eight scenes presented here contain not only the spoken words but the manner of line delivery and the physical turns. So they remain superbly suitable for performance. Most of them are written for just three actors the white-faced clown, August the stooge, and the supercilious ringmaster. Sets are unnecessary. And their combination of the verbal with the physical has timeless appeal. Bernard Sahlins s translation is masterfully attuned to present-day audiences. In his foreword, Mr. Sahlins notes that these scenes have been continually remounted in Europe, attesting to their fundamental vitality and universality. Clearly there is a debt, witting and unwitting, owed to the clown of the ring by the great comedians of our century. With this book these scenes and the clowns who invented and played them now take their honored place in our theatrical legacy. "

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


William Tell
Hold High the Scenery
The Barrel

13 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

Tristan Remy is France s celebrated historian of the circus. Bernard Sahlins is founder and director of The Second City in Chicago.

Bibliographic information