ClownThe International Network for Culture and Arts’ production Ship of Fools combines dance, visual arts, clowning, circus skills, and acting to explore the adverse effects of unemployment on mental health and the way the media regards unemployed artists as “fools”.

Inspired by French philosopher Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation, the experience will span from the Middle Ages to Cameron and Osborne’s Britain and is to take place aboard a barge in Battersea.

Jaime was one of only 13 performers selected from many hopefuls. He said: “In clowning, my main objective is to be myself on stage. We all create a ‘character’, which we identify as ourselves, but that’s not true. In fact, the truth is always the most beautiful and the most delightful; that’s why a good clown makes people feel the pleasure of joy, makes people laugh.”

With unemployment levels remaining high throughout the UK, young performers like Jaime face challenges as they compete for work in a competitive industry.

“No-one really takes me seriously when I tell people I want to make my future as a good clown’”, he continued. “More importantly, there are many CVs but few job offers in this profession. Being part of a project such as this has made me realise that nothing is impossible and that the most important thing is the desire to achieve
something and working hard to do so. It has been a great experience to work with such a diverse group of artists, a very challenging collaboration which will affect my future career positively.”

The third-year student, who also volunteers in local schools helping to engage young people, was awarded an On-Course Scholarship for Excellence from Edge Hill in 2013.

The award recognises achievements outside of students’ studies and bagged Jaime a prize of £500, in addition to an invitation to the Scholarships Awards Ceremony to celebrate his success.