This first post is quite serious, I will aim to inject more fun into further ones – after all, I am going in order to bring joy!
I am immensely privileged to have been selected by the charity, Clowns Without Borders, to go with them to Greece at the end of the month. There we will perform to children in a number of refugee camps around Athens. I can hardly imagine what things the adult residents who make up this morass of desperate humanity has gone through to get to Europe; the children among them will not only have also gone through that, but will also have foregone – and continue to forego – a childhood even in concept form.
Impotence is being only able to offer a balm of an hour or two, where we might bring a little lightness and play back into their lives, but I hope that that, as small a thing as it may be, will help. I suppose we can each only do our part, and my part is to bring joy where I can.
In that endeavour, there will be four of us clowns, three flying in from London, one from Barcelona, meeting our Greek driver, for ten days of doing what we can.
On Sunday, I travelled to North London and met the UK team, Jo and Amy, who have both done trips with CWB before. We discussed what we would need, what outfits, what normal clothes (it’s snowing in Athens at the moment), whether we’ll be performing indoors or outside (again, it’s snowing in Athens at the moment!), and what other logistics there are. Stripes, warm kit and wellies, hopefully indoors, and we have accommodation. We also worked out what games we would play with the children during our workshops, and what sort of things we might do in our show. The fun ones and the things that will raise spirits and make everyone laugh. And then we had a delicious supper of chorizo stew and Spanish/Welsh omelette.
Tuesday night was a Skype session, for which Inda, our Spanish member, joined us; four faces on a phone screen discussing the serious business of laughter. And a few more bits of putting stuff together and we are there – it’s only a week away!
This post has felt very sombre, but the subject matter is the childhood experience of refugees. However, as a clown, my aim is to bring the fun and laughter, and in my next posts I will try to bring it to you also. This is a story aboutfour funny people doing a thing for little people who need a little laughter. There will be stories, there will be hilarity, there will no doubt be heartwrench. But above all, there will be a thing happening. I hope you enjoy reading about it, and if you are maybe even a little inspired, that’s wonderful too.
In the meantime, here is a short film of what a CWB team was recently up to in Greece. I suspect I will be doing something similar.