“Here we are again”, Joseph Grimaldi

One picture per month, 25 February 2015

Every year on the first Sunday in February, clowns dressed in full costume gather to honor the father of modern clowning Joseph Grimaldi (1778 – 1837). His distinctive style and pioneering make up influenced many generations of entertainers. During his lifetime Grimaldi achieved great fame, as he elevated the role of Clown to the harlequinade, the opening act and part of the British pantomimes that were performed in all the major theatres in Covent Garden, the Theatre Royale, Drury Lane and Sadler’s Wells.

The Holy Trinity Church in Dalston (aka The Clown Church), host of the annual memorial service and the Clown Gallery since the 1940’s, is temporarily housing a school and this year’s service took place at the All Saint’s Church in Haggerston. It was a service-turned-to-show event with plenty of jokes, pranks and songs to satisfy the big audience of curious adults and innocent kids. However, an undercurrent grief was evident in the room. 

It was the major conflict of stereotypes that attracted me to attend this event. In an attempt to simplify, I present here two common perceptions:


Clown = Happy

Memorial = Sad


It is a brainteaser to try to interchange the equals. Look!


Clown = Sad

Memorial = Happy

Clown = Memorial

Happy = Sad


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“Here we are again”, Joseph Grimaldi

25 February 2015 ← back to One picture per month

Yiannis Katsaris