It’s no laughing matter, Ireland needs clowns

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have found themselves low on certain items, and in Ireland’s case, it’s a shortage of clowns.

Many performers returned to their home countries when the first lockdown came into force in early 2020, David Duffy, co-owner of Duffy’s Circus, tells the BBC.

As a result, Duffy’s circus has been closed for more than 500 days, however, it will soon be able to tour in Northern Ireland again, following changes in COVID-19 restrictions.

Unfortunately for him, performers have been able to get work in other countries that have opened up more quickly, so Duffy is appealing to people from Northern Ireland to become clowns.

And what makes a good clown?

“Someone who’s willing to make themselves vulnerable,” says Noeleen Fries Neumann, known professionally as Silly Tilly.

“Not everybody likes to be laughed at but for someone who is a clown, your worst nightmare would be to not be laughed at,” Fries Neumann told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster.

“You have to be able to poke fun at yourself, it’s not about poking fun at other people.”