November 30, 2020
India’s only International Clown Festival was back this year with its 7th Edition to resounding success. An initiative of Martin and Roshni Dsouza, the founders of Mad Hatters , a division of Lighthouse Entertainment. The festival is a gathering of world class talent from across the world. The first ever International Clown Festival in the history of India was held in 2010 and is scheduled to continue for years to come. A journey that began 10 years ago with the ‘baker’s dozen’ Clowns visiting India has grown by leaps and bounds. Our mission is to spread laughter and joy to people of all ages and open new avenues for livelihood to youth.
The festival focused on 4 main features: Theatre shows, Carnivals, Workshops and Outreach.
Theatre Shows: High quality shows packed with side-splitting laughter, foot tapping music, stunning acts, silly magic and a whole lot of fun. Good for kids of all ages. From 3 to 103.
Carnival : An ideal way to get close to your favorite clown and see them perform right in front of you. We were at malls, schools, multiplexes and in your neighborhood.
Workshops : Always wanted to be a clown and did not know where to start. Some of the practical hands-on workshop were for beginners and professionals.
Outreach : We shared special moments with those who are hurt. At hospitals, homes and other places where we spread the medicine of laughter.
Planning for the festival began almost 6 months in advance with conceptualizing, planning, promoting, marketing. This year the festival toured across India and performed in major cities. We visited places like Lucknow and Bareilly during the tensed political situation and curfew. We were able to bring comic relief to the people of the city.
Christmas was a special day for the team. The day began at 2 am with a flight to Hyderabad. After sharing the Christmas cheer with the people of Hyderabad the team flew back to Mumbai the same night and hit the sack by 2 am. A 24 hour, rough the clock mission to spread laughter to our fellow Indians. In Mumbai, the team presented Theatre shows at the prestigious Tata Theatre at NCPA followed by St Andrews at Bandra. We had Sold OUT shows. The Festival wrapped up with two more theatre shows at Bangalore with an audience of over 2,500 people per show! The International Clowns performed action songs, comedy gags, and various skills like juggling, unicycling and much more. There was also a special Meet & Greet session for kids before and after the Shows, so that they could capture unique moments with the Clowns.
The team for this year included Oscar ‘Timmyto’ Flores from Mexico a graduate of circus school. Ron ‘Toto’ Johnson Jr. from USA who has toured with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and is a graduate of their Clown College. Jeffrey ‘Bungles’ Potts from USA, is the founder of the American Clown Academy. Jhoel is a third-generation circus performer and Patricia is a graduate from circus college. They both hail from Peru. Martin ‘Flubber’ D’Souza, an award-winning international clown, former Vice President of the World Clown Association is the Producer of the International Clown Festival and is also a Diamond
The International Clowns enjoyed our Indian food, travelling and learning a little Hindi. They also travelled all over Mumbai and visited the Gateway of India, Kanheri Caves, Global Vipassana Pagoda, National Park, and more. They were the most thrilled when the monkeys took away their food at Elephanta Caves. Travelling to the Capital of India, Delhi, they also visited Gandhi Smriti Museum and our very own Taj Mahal at Agra. 2019 ended with a grand Fellowship Night at Bandra Gymkhana, before which our International Clowns went hunting for suits as they could not attend the affair in their Clown costumes. They managed to rent formal suits and welcomed 2020 in a grand Mumbai style.
Alas! The International Clown Festival – India 2019 came to an end with everyone having mixed feelings; happiness about it being successful and sadness that it was all over. But nonetheless, we’re glad to inform you that we will be back with our next Festival soon! Hope to see you there.
Martin “ Flubber” Dsouza