Funny man
F.J.Bogner - the master clown

F.J.Bogner is a clown by profession and by nature. At 55, this German artist still travels to different parts of the world to make people laugh.
The real charm of Bogner's show is liveliness and the fresh gimmicks he uses. Improvisation is the key. Actually, bogner did not monopolize the show - he got the audience involved from the
He talked to the audience, inviting them to respond and teased them. Bogner's gestures were universal and he had good control of that. Throughout the show, Bogner was encouraging the audience to let themselves loose and to feel free to laugh. He kept the audience involved at all times and adapted his jokes to the real situation.
The first item of the performance was entitled "It's All Soooo Simple". The viewers saw Bogner trying to put on a sweater. Instead of just unbuttoning it and putting it on simply, Bogner made it complicated. He tried various weird ways to put it on. It seemed like he was performing acrobatics.
His gestures stired up laughter time and again. It lookad absurd but life is also like tbat: it might be all so simple but we just make it difficult, bind ourselves in ways that diminish our freedom.
He succesfully presented the "story of the nose" with a set of red plastic noses - those worn by clowns. The noses were in different shapes to mock the different the characteristics of European nations: The English and German noses were round, while the French, apparently, have sharp noses. Russians, on the other hand supposedly have blunt and square noses.
Bogner presented several short comic mimes, using different props, chairs, newspaper, suspenders and a spotlight. Tne technique was interesting: it was all in himself. The artist had previously held a workshop for those interesteds in learning his art. Some of the humour was obviously based an a specific cultural background. Thus, Bogner sometimes failed to draw laughter from the audience. But he also did a good job in adapting the show to for the audience.
The show, thongh amusing, contained sharp underlying social comments. His sketch about a man who keeps himself happy by picking up a newspaper which he keeps dropping. As he picks up one paper, another falls. But he is happy for it keeps him occupied. Or a man trying to fix a chair's legs. As he fixes one, another falls off. It is a never-ending task. But he keeps on doing it.
This might remind one of 'Sisyphos' and his never-ending burden of rolling a stone up and down the mountain.
"It seems boring and funny in an performance to keep doing this. In life you also do the same but it is not funny," pointed out Bogner.
Nonetheless, Bogner tried to make everything simple for the audience to laugh. He did not overload his show with symbols that the audience had to search for and understand.
"They (the audience) don't have to understand art. I don't bring them art. No need of any knowledge, just be human," stated the artist.
This civil servant-turned-clown will continue his journey to Manila for a workshop as well as a performance there and, of course, for the sake of laughter.
Sutharin Koonphol, "The Nation", Bangkok, März 1991