Friday, April 24, 2009


Big clown shoes are no laughing matter. In fact, clown shoes have been banned in one circus over safety concerns.

A clown has been told he cannot wear his giant comedy shoes during his act because they breach health and safety rules.

Valerik Kashkin broke a toe after falling from a high-wire and has been told his size 18s were to blame.

His bosses have now banned the clown – whose routine also includes playing a drum kit, trumpet and double bass at the same time – from using the outsize footwear and ordered him to perform barefoot, instead.

'It is very important for me to have the boots on because I don't look like a normal clown in a black costume,' he said. 'The act just won't be the same now.'

The Moscow State Circus performer fell from the wire in a performance of the troupe's The Monk's Dream during an 11-day run in Liverpool.

The 40-year-old – whose act also includes dressing on the wire and in a hoop of fire – went to hospital and spent the next few days recovering.

But, on his return, he was told he could no longer wear his special shoes.

'I don't think it is a good idea for him to wear the boots because he is essentially walking blind – with barefeet he gets a much better grip,' said the circus's health and safety adviser, Larry Dewitt.

And general manager Paul Archer added: 'I guess we just have to follow through these procedures – it really is a balancing act.'

Isn't the whole point of a high-wire act, the risk and danger? Sounds like the real clown is management.

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