The Pi Clowns have performed at the Berkshire Fringe before – hence the title The Return of the Pi Clowns – but I have never had an opportunity to see them. I am a great admirer of physical theatre, which is how the Pi Clowns bill themselves. While all of the circus arts are theatrical, not all of them are theatre, but clowns are.
The modern day clown usually selects a character name, persona, costume and make-up for life. She or he then acts as that clown persona whether in a story-based skit or a skill-based set. The five Pi Clowns I saw identified themselves as Clown (Andrew P. Quick), Monster Strong (Jonathan Deline), Miz G (Leah C. Gardner), Juggler (Tyler Parks) and Bruce (Bruce Glaseroff) but each had a clear clown persona even though only Quick carried that moniker on stage.
I realized as I searched for photos and video to accompany this review, that there is usually a sixth Pi Clown, a second woman, and that their routines vary greatly from performance to performance. While they have some set pieces, they mix up the order and the routines themselves. I did not find any images that exactly matched what I saw, and so it is possible that they never do the same show twice. So what I will do here is tell you what I enjoyed and give you a flavor of the troupe’s energy and ethos.