Clowning Around In London

London

Joseph Grimaldi was the greatest British clown. Every year on the first Sunday in February, clowns from across the country meet in Dalston, East London, for the church service in his memory. This has been an annual tradition since 1946. In 1967 permission was given for clowns to attend in costume.
Joey was born in London in 1778 and died in 1837. His performances at the Sadler’s Wells and Drury Lane theatres were extremely popular and established British clowning traditions. His tomb is in Joseph Grimaldi Park on Pentonville Road.
He was 3 years old when he first went on the stage of Sadler’s Wells with his father and worked there for 45 years as performer and part-proprietor. From his debut in 1806 at Covent Garden in Mother Goose he was adored by all and could fill a theatre anywhere. The name Joey passed into our language to mean a clown. I wonder if his funeral hearse had square wheels.

Clown Family

Clown Family


Clown Service

Clown Service

2 comments on “Clowning Around In London”

  1. I.A.M. says:

    What, pray-tell, is a “part-proprietor”? Is this another theatre term for “props (or ‘properties’) master”?

  2. Steve says:

    Someone who sells sex toys, I believe.

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