Performer Matthew Belopavlovich casts light on the waning shadows of the traditional circus next week as he performs Leaving the Ring, a theatrical narrative he’s constructed around the story of “a clown’s last bow on Earth.” In his one-man performance, Belopavlovich walks onstage in a red bowler hat and clown nose. He unpacks his suitcase, apparently oblivious to where he is. Then he notices the audience. As long they’re sitting there, he may as well perform…
Belopavlovich proceeds to weave a performance out of comedy, poetry, juggling and stage magic. It’s a family show, but it captures something beyond light entertainment.
“The idea of ‘leaving the ring’ is symbolic of the clown performing for the last time on this Earth and passing away,” Belopavlovich says.
Given the right execution, this could be a very interesting journey flowing from all the trappings of a traditional circus clown’s shtick. Modern culture often associates clowns with children’s parties, so crafting a profound message from this fare should prove to be an interesting challenge. The show looks like a passionate side project for Belopavlovich.
Belopavlovich’s Leaving the Ring runs for two nights only, Dec. 15-16, at the Alchemist Theatre. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Clowns Without Borders, an organization that brings laughter to places of conflict and crisis all over the world.