“This is what we call a ‘happy accident’,” says Edmund. Unlike precision drills where the slightest mistake sounds the death knell, slip-ups in the clowning world are comical opportunities. Moreover, Edmund relishes playing the part of the gregarious Auguste: an antithesis of the classic, prima-donna whiteface clown — think pratfalls and exaggerated gestures and repartee. The Auguste is also maladroit, and every attempt to right a mistake only aggravates it. “It resonates with children because they enjoy seeing adults fail. They are always being told what they are supposed to do, and here is an adult who is always messing things up.”
Edmund describes himself as “The Human Cartoon”, channelling three personas who are what he calls “amplifications” of himself. Flamboyant, whimsical and wacky is Captain Bubbles: the archetype of a circus clown. Inspired by his time of being a scout, Professor Bananas is a safari explorer, and for this character Edmund pulls from his bag of considerable tricks that include juggling and closeup magic to be a ventriloquist. There is also Captain Dazzle, a stripped-down version of Captain Bubbles whom he developed specially for the Singapore market, where the clowning scene is still small and nascent.