Is laughter really the best medicine?

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PEOPLE who are terrified of clowns can beat their fears with the help of new ‘therapy’ sessions offered by the John Lawson Circus.

The circus will come to the Keble Road playing fields in Bicester for a three-day visit from Friday, June 10, to Sunday, June 12, with all the usual exciting attractions including acrobats, knife-throwers and trapeze artistes.

But in an unusual step, the circus is offering special therapy sessions inside the big top for anyone with a terror of clowns.

Ringmaster Attila Endresz said he thinks the phobia – known as coulrophobia – is on the increase.

“There are many horror films such as Stephen King’s It, or even The Joker in Batman, that portray the clown in a sinister light,” he said.

Clowns Kakehole and Popol want to remind people they are only figures of fun.

“It upsets us when audience members are scared of us,” said Popol.

“In our act, I am the boss who tries to keep order while Kakehole causes chaos.

“He is like a big kid, always getting into trouble, and the children identify with him.

“People are not scared of us when they get to know us; it is just sometimes the initial sight of us that can be unnerving.”

The clowns have twice won the prize for best comedy act in the UK National Circus Awards.

Shows start at 4.30pm and 7.30pm on the Friday; at 2pm and 5pm on the Saturday; and at 2pm on the Sunday.

Tickets are £8, or £6 on the first night.

For bookings and more information on the clown therapy sessions, contact staff on 07860 498833.