Biopic of the world’s greatest clown.
Charles Dickens’ life of Joseph Grimaldi
London’s clown, Joseph Grimaldi, was king of the pantomime, an ancient theatre art descended from the great fairs of Europe. A genius of physical comedy, his shows brought the house down in three theatres a night and he was smuggled outside in a suitcase to escape the adoring crowds. In his downtime ‘Joey’ could be found sitting in the window of an Exmouth Market pawn shop, offering himself up ‘for sale’. Grimaldi’s instinct for self-annihilation and danger was equalled only by the love of his fans, a true performer who brought mirth and merriment to all until his dying day.
When that day finally arrived, it seemed almost fated that the young Charles Dickens, who lived only minutes away in 19th century London, would receive one of this first ever commissions: to write the clown’s biography.