Time Out Sydney

Tamara Campbell, one of the five clowns from circus act Precarious, talks to Time Out about their new show Live It, which will premier at Hoopla this Easter.

Tamara, what’s your clown name?
I’m playing the ‘horny’ clown. It’s not horny in a sex sense. It’s horny in a sense of being naïve about everything; wanting to touch, eat and taste everything. It’s that hunger for discovery. I think we’re going to call her Paris, but I’m not sure.

Do you have a signature skill?
I am a physical comedian – the idiot. My skill is creating the character and interacting with the audience. I’m kind of unattractive, [laughs] which just softens you to people, I find. I’ve always felt comfortable being nerdy and unattractive.

Do you look like a typical clown? Big shoes? Braces?
One of our clowns looks like that, but we’re not really old circus clowns. You’re probably closer to the money if you think of the Marx brothers, Chaplin or Buster Keaton. I think the Marx brothers are a great parallel, because they have that relationship as a group of comedy clowns.

How would you describe the show?
The show starts with five dead clowns, or their chalk outline. The first number is five chalk outlines doing acrobatics in order to come to life. Our ‘bipolar’ clown takes a leap of death… We have aerial acts with a spinning rope, and there’s a lot of slapstick. It’s also very interactive and sensory. We want to make the audience a strong part of the show.

Audience participation? Sounds scary... 
It will happen in a very beautiful, not-weird way; people will be able to touch each other in a moment; the whole audience holding hands, for example.

But, dead clowns? That sounds quite dark.
I suppose, but not really. It’s so funny I don’t think about that side of it. Everything that happens, happens through comedy. I hope that we will create a beautiful world that people will get lost in for 60-70 minutes.

Is this the world that has been described as a cross between an aquarium and a marshmallow?
[Laughs] It’s a weird metaphor. I think that a marshmallow is really happy and safe. It’s about feeling sticky, fluffy and light, but also watching something from either side of the glass – sometimes you’re going to be the one in the tank; sometimes you’re going to be watching from the outside.

Catch Live It during Hoopla Festival over the Easter long weekend.

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