See article in its original context here by John Bailey for The Age.
The dark side of clowning is brought into focus with a new play.
While it’s become a bit faddish to declare yourself clown-phobic these days, pop culture has thrown us enough terrifying clowns in living memory to provide some underlying support for the claim – from Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT to serial killer John Wayne Gacy, the menacing US act Insane Clown Posse and their cultish Juggalo fans to Heath Ledger’s nightmarish turn as The Joker.
Last year, an English student posted creepy images of himself standing around the city in scary clown get-up; within days dozens of copycats had begun menacing people around Britain.
There is something unnerving about clowns, says performer Clare Bartholomew. ”The traditional make-up of a clown is made for a three-ring circus, where you might be half a kilometre away from the audience. That make-up is designed to show your expression to someone a very long distance away. If you put on all that make-up and you’re up close making a balloon animal for a child, it’s really scary.”