Interview: Morro & Jasp

This Fringe must have a record number.


This Fringe must have a record number of clown shows. There’s Phil Koole’s Halapatoolo, Vincenzo Aliberti’s A Funeral For Clowns, and Little Lady, by Cirque du Soleil performer/Celine Dion dancer Sandrine Lafond.

And making a welcome return are popular Fringe red-nosers Morro and Jasp (aka Heather Marie Annis and Amy Lee), along with their co-writer/director, Byron Laviolette. The trio, who’ve taken us through adolescence (Morro And Jasp Do Puberty) and attempts at whipping up a cooking show (Morro And Jasp: Go Bake Yourself) are involved in two plays this year: Of Mice And Morro And Jasp and PornStar (the latter’s not a clown show). In addition, Laviolette’s involved in the site-specific show [ZED.TO] Byologyc: Where You Become New.

Clowns are really big at this year’s Fringe. Do you guys take any credit for that?

Morro: Um, maybe… but not all of it. Clowns have been loved in this city before and will be after we’re gone, so we’re just a part of the wave.

Jasp: But I’m sure it’s mostly because of us.

Morro: Jasp, that is not true.

Jasp: How do you know it’s not?

Who’s your biggest clown competition at the festival?

Jasp: Are you looking for a fight? Huh? Are you? You wanna go? Bring it. Bring it!

Morro: Mud wrestle!

Are you adapting Steinbeck’s Depression-era tale Of Mice And Men because of the current economic climate?

Jasp: We are in hard times here, people. And it’s worse for clowns, despite all the shows this year. Statistically, clowns make 55 per cent of what a “regular” person makes.

Morro: Think about it.

Without the red noses, do people in the Beer Tent recognize you?

Morro: Um… like if we had our noses removed somehow?

Jasp: Would people recognize you without your nose?

Morro: Probably not. It’d be like Clark Kent.

You’re also involved in Chris Craddock’s PornStar. What is it about you that made Chris think “porn stars”?

Morro & Jasp: Isn’t it obvious, Glenn?

You have a couple of days when you’re performing both shows, and on the final Saturday (July 14) you’ve got a mere 45 minutes between them. How will you manage?

Morro: Cuz we’re hardcore! Cuz we’re “street” like that! Cuz we’re clowns! North Side!

Jasp: Sigh, we have no idea….

You’ve always got rave reviews in NOW. Will this year be any different?

Jasp: That’s hard to answer. I guess it depends if NOW likes our show.

Morro: Can we interest you in some cookies?

How would you convince Mayor Ford to see one of your shows?

Morro & Jasp: Free plastic bags for everyone who comes to the show!

Of Mice And Morro And Jasp begins July 5, and PornStar begins July 6, both at the Tarragon Mainspace.

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