No clowning around - for now! Resort takes break from hosting clown conference
PUBLISHED: 10:57 12 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:53 12 January 2019
It has brought some of the world's most talented entertainers to Suffolk's shores to raise a laugh and a smile.
But 2019 will be the time the party stops - for now, at least.
The Clown Gathering UK convention has become somewhat of a fixture on the Lowestoft calendar in recent years, with the town happily playing host to a week of performances as well as seminars where professionals brush up on their skills.
It became so popular that clowns flew from across the globe to take part - and enjoy one of the most scenic parts of the country to boot.
But even though the clowns enjoyed visiting the picturesque Suffolk coast, Lowestoft’s location as the most easterly point in the UK made it difficult for some to get there.
As a result organiser and Lowestoft-based entertainer Andrew Davis has moved the event to Birmingham for 2019.
But Mr Davis, also known as Andy the Clown, said Lowestoft is the convention’s true home - and will return to the town in 2020.
“We wanted to try and encourage more people to come in case it was too far to travel,” said Mr Davis.
“There was no other reason than that. Birmingham is smack bang in the middle of the country.
“However Lowestoft is the home of the clown convention and always will be in the future.
“We’ve always been looked after well by Lowestoft and we will definitely back in 2020.
“We’ve just grown year on year.”
The week, often held in January or February, usually includes seminars and workshops at Kirkley’s Hatfield Hotel in topics such as costume and how best to use props.
The week then culminates in two live shows at the Pakefield’s Seagull Theatre, where the performers can put some of their new found tricks to the test.
The conference, which began in 2015, has come at a time when clowning is as popular as ever.
Hundreds of clowns are said to be registered as professional entertainers across the UK, although Mr Davis says how they are portrayed in some parts of the media has unfairly created the impression clowns are scary.
However Mr Davis said their representation in newspapers and on television has improved in recent years.
“I like to make people happy and make people smile,” he said. “It’s a great feeling.”
For more information or for professionals to enrol in the 2019 event in Birmingham, visit http://www.andytheclown.co.uk/clowngathering/enrole.html