30 January 2013

Send in the clowns

FEW things stand out as much as a clown. Then again it’s pretty difficult not to recognise someone with brightly coloured hair and a red nose doing tumbles in MC Hammer’s eveningwear.

The greatest of them all – Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837) – gets his very own light-hearted commemoration when clowns from all over the country congregate at Holy Trinity Church in Dalston this weekend to celebrate his life and work.

Held on the first Sunday of every February, the annual Grimaldi Service honours the man who defined the modern day jester – the face-paint, red nose, oversized clothes, wildly patterned shirts and pantaloons, slippers, rosy cheeks and wide eyed zaniness.

Originally celebrated at St James’ church in Pentonville Road, where Grimaldi is buried, the service transferred to Holy Trinity in 1959.

A smorgasbord of merrymakers dressed in full regalia are set to take part. After paying their respects to the king of harlequins, as well as other clowns who have passed away in the last 12 months, the performers then bring back the belly laughs with a children’s show.

It’s best to arrive early as this popular event tends to pack out the church.

The Grimaldi Service takes place at 3pm on 3 February, Holy Trinity Church, Beechwood Road, E8 3DY.

 

The Grimaldi Service celebrates the life of Joseph Grimaldi

The Grimaldi Service celebrates the life of Joseph Grimaldi

The Grimaldi Service celebrates the life of Joseph Grimaldi Joseph Grimaldi defined the persona and dress of the classic clown

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