Aspiring clowns lured into Welsh goat-feeling cult by lady-lifting UK showman

Adam Taffler in Square this week

Adam Taffler, the showman, in Soho this week

This blog ends with me standing in Soho Square, London, when showman Adam Taffler says to me:

“John, I want to see you reclining on a litter, surrounded by beautiful girls wafting you with giant ostrich fans.”

“You see me as a sort of Cleopatra figure?” I ask.

“Like an emperor,” says Adam. “A loveable, aged emperor in a toga.”

It all started off with me meeting Adam at Bar Italia in Frith Street.

“It’s a good day,” he said to me. “Let’s go to Soho Square.”

Last October, I blogged about Adam’s new Shhh Dating speed dating venture in which the two prospective romancers could not speak to each other – they had to communicate visually.

There might be a slight sense of deja vu or deja read here.

Back in October, Adam was just about to stage Edinburgh Fringe hit Red Bastard’s show in London. And, again – at the end of this month – he is about to stage a Red Bastard show in London.

All this is happening through his company Adamotions, now with added business partner Sharney Nougher. Their selling line is Cultivating Hilarity and Humanity.

“We’re doing another Clowning In Nature with Dr Brown (aka Phil Burgers) ,” he told me.

“You were just about to do one last time,” I said. “What is it exactly? Dr Brown teaching people to be clowns?”

Dr Brown at one with Nature

Dr Brown is Clowning in Nature

“Sort of,” replied Adam. “We go out into what is pretty much the wilderness and do what Dr Brown says. He likes pushing the boundaries so this time we’re organising it for eleven days with a two-day break in the middle. Most of it is in this place called St Hilary just outside Cardiff and then we’re doing a two-day deep nature break in this wild place called Pennant Valley.”

“What’s a deep nature break?” I asked.

“There’s no phones down there,” explained Adam. “no electricity, just rivers. There are a few structures we’re going to live in: semi-permanent tents.”

“Wigwams?” I asked.

“No, they’re like lodges: wooden posts and canvas roofs. It will be really wild, nomadic, beautiful.”

“It sounds like a nightmare,” I said. “No internet access.”

“It’s different,” said Adam. “It’s not for everyone. If you wanna go for a normal course, then go to one of the ones Dr Brown runs in London where you go to the course and you go home afterwards. This one is fully-immersive. You go deeper into it. You go deeper into your relationship with everyone else and all the stuff around.”

“I feel like I might be sucked into some cult.”

“You are,” laughed Adam. “The cult of Dr Brown. He’s teaching people all his stuff, being in the shit, being totally present, finding the pleasure in every moment and all that kind of stuff. But using your whole environment. So, last time, you and I talked a bit about goats. Sometimes you blindfold each other, you go out and feel stuff and Whoa! There’s a goat! There are lakes. We’ll go and jump in lakes.

A previous Clowning In Nature group

Previous Clowning In Nature group apparently high on a hill

“When Dr Brown does his ones in Soho, he has people performing sun salutations on the street and running round the block in stupid costumes. This is the same type of thing but this time you’re in nature, so you’re rolling in the mud, you’re covering your face in clay, you’re jumping in the river.”

“How many people?” I asked.

“About 20 or 22 plus two chefs and Dr Brown and me and Sharney.”

“Pricey?” I asked.

“Because a lot of comedians can’t afford the amount of money it costs – £750 including all accommodation and food – we’re putting on a FUNDr.brownRAISER in London after the event finishes. It’s going to be Dr Brown and all the people who’ve been on Clowning In Nature in an open workshop/performance occupying a while building and all the money from that will go to a bursary system to subsidise people on low incomes to come on Clowning In Nature.”

“You should be an agent,” I said.

“I dunno, John. I’m a showman.”

On his website, Adam calls himself a “Social Entrepreneur with a focus on entertainment”.

Adam crowdsurfs in a previous incarnation

Adam crowdsurfs in one of his previous showbiz incarnations

“It’s in my blood,” Adam told me. “I used to go round festivals with my sauna. My granddad Leo Indra, the lady lifter, used to hold up golden painted ladies. I’m just carrying that vibe on a bit more. I dunno. It’s about making something interesting happen. How long are we alive for?”

“I’ll take a photo,” I said.

“I’ll pick up a woman,” said Adam.

He asked the girl sitting on the next bench in Soho Square if he could lift her up on his shoulders for a photograph. She turned him down, laughing.

He asked a girl on another bench.

Her name was Ashleigh Taylor.

She agreed, laughing.

Adam shows off his lady lifting skills in Soho

Adam shows off his lady lifting skills in Soho

“That’s my skill,” Adam said. “Getting people to do things they don’t think they want to do and then they really enjoy it afterwards.”

“I didn’t think you would get anyone to let you lift them up,” I said.

“John, I want to see you reclining on a litter, surrounded by beautiful girls wafting you with giant ostrich fans.”

“You see me as a sort of Cleopatra figure?”

“Like an emperor. A loveable aged emperor in a toga.”

“Can’t I be a loveable young emperor?” I asked.

“Not really,” said Adam.

Even Adam Taffler, it seems, has his limits.

But I am now looking for a toga.

And I feel obliged to mention that Malcolm Hardee used to tell a joke about a dyslexic who went to a toga party dressed as a goat.

Perhaps it was a mistake to mention it.

1 Comment

Filed under Comedy

One response to “Aspiring clowns lured into Welsh goat-feeling cult by lady-lifting UK showman

  1. anna pest smith

    It’s ok. At least some dyslexics have a great senses of humor. Anyhow, I love hearing about the lady lifting. I used to enjoy picking up men, when I was younger….

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