“Returning to this stage is an extraordinary feeling,” Sam George, Clown Funeral‘s co-founder says, as he surveys the Pegasus Theatre, where he spent much of his youth.
Now 27, and returning with his own show A Pattern of Bad Behaviour, he adds. “It is a piece we are incredibly proud of, and I couldn’t think of a better place in the world to share it. We’re honoured to be opening the Pegasus’ 2021 Autumn season, and will relish every moment of being at such a fantastic theatre.”
The show has been described as the lovechild of Fight Club and The Office and is a darkly comic piece about two strangers who are dissatisfied with their lives and looking for a new purpose and direction.
“as it’s a show about a search for connection it really fits with the time”
They meet, they fight, they go to dinner. The show is for everybody who has ever felt like they’re searching for purpose, especially those who chose the wrong direction once or twice.
Set in a boxing ring-style set and accompanied by a dynamic lighting design by Will Monks, A Pattern of Bad Behaviour is a heavily physical and absurd comedy.
“It’s based around the dissatisfaction of young adults struggling to find a sense of fulfilment explored through these two people who are desperate for a connection,” Sam, who hails from Nuneham Courtenay and went to d’Overbroeck’s sixth form college in Oxford, explains.
“pegasus really pushed us to make amazing, ambitious work and I owe them awful lot”
“We mounted the show in 2020 and were in the middle of a tour when the pandemic pulled it. But as it’s about a search for connection it really fits with the times.
Starring Freddie Paul (who has been with Clown Funeral since it was founded in 2014) and Sam Wightman, Sam says Clown Funeral is “keen for our pieces to be narrative led and dialogue driven. And about anything dark and funny, hence the name.”
Sam, who is also the show’s director, and got his start with Pegasus Young Companies, adds: “I grew up at Pegasus Theatre – it’s no exaggeration to say that my time there still inspires everything I do today.
“Pegasus works with young people and young artists in a way that every theatre should aspire to. They have such a great reputation for taking on young artists. The warmth and professionalism there makes it feel like a real community. They really pushed us to make amazing, ambitious work and I owe them awful lot.
Anna Sturrock from Pegasus agrees: “It feels so right to be starting off the season with a Clown Funeral show. A lot of the people involved started off as part of the Young Companies at Pegasus, later became our SPARK artists, and are now creating these amazing theatre shows and touring them nationally.
“We’re so excited for them to come back to us with their latest piece and show young people in Oxford the amazing work they’re doing!”
A Pattern of Bad Behaviour will be showing at Pegasus Theatre on Saturday 4 September at 7:30pm. Tickets at www.pegasustheatre.org.uk. For ages 14+.