Serious Play

Modern Clown Performance

Louise Peacock

Louise Peacock

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

224 pages | 15 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2009
Paper $28.50 ISBN: 9781841502410 Published July 2009

Slapstick comedy is the primary mode of performance for clowns, and in Serious Play, drama scholar Louise Peacock explores the evolution  over the past fifty years of this unique brand of physical comedy. Though an analysis of clowning in a range of settings—theaters, circuses, hospitals, refugee camps, and churches—Peacock offers a framework for the evaluation of clowning, and she examines the therapeutic potential of the comedic performance. This is the first book to consider clowning venues and styles in light of play theory, including comparisons of traditional clown comedy and contemporary circuses like Cirque du Soleil. A distinctive study, Serious Play also provides authoritative definitions of clowns and clown performance styles that establishes a critical vocabulary for clowning performance.

Introduction - Play: Serious and Frivolous
Chapter 1  Clowns and Clown Play
Chapter 2  The Development of the Circus Clown: Frame and Content
Chapter 3  Clowns on Stage
Chapter 4  Clowns who Act: Actors who Clown
Chapter 5  The Truth Tellers: Clowns in Religion and Politics
Chapter 6  Clown Healers
Conclusion: The Centrality of Play in Clowning
Clown Index
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