couple of years before I started my Theater X project, I got an email from Paul
Blackwell with a link that told the following story:
the former website of actor/director/musician Johnny Melville (Current Website
In Memoriam-- George
On the 23rd September2003 there will be a benefit performance for the family
of Georgio Peugeot. Georgio Peugeot, the American clown was tragically killed
in Switzerland on 17 August 2002 when his car was hit by a train. Georgio was
a charming and gentle clown who started his performing days as a juggler in the
70s with the Salt Lake Mime Troupe from Utah. He was also part of that explosive
Fools Scene which sprung out of Amsterdam and fathered the variety and street
scenes of today. Soon after he developed a unique contact improvisation style
with Jack Millet in the 80s. Georgio was also a proficient teacher, and later
producer/director of various groups and events.
I first met Georgio in
Barsham Fair, a medieval festival in England in 1975. I was performing at that
festival with my group SALAKTA BALLOON BAND and on the first day there I noticed
a large crowd enthousing round a juggler. Dressed in cloured overalls he had beautifully
long reddish-blond hair which bounced on his shoulders in roll-up locks which
a baroque wig-maker would have been jealous of. He was doing something I had never
seen before - juggling a cauliflower, an apple and a peanut. Now in those days
juggling had not yet become a mass phenomenon like now, and I was used to seeing
the typical street performer with 3 clubs and 3 balls.....but here was Georgio
innovating with 3 different sizes and weights, eating the apple as he juggled
and when he finished that off he flipped the peanut high in the air and caught
it perfectly in his mouth, the cauliflower perching on his neck. Over those days
he also adopted a festival-partner: a 6 year old princess whom he integrated into
his show: it was utter charm and it was funny too.
Over the years we
met occasionally at festivals but it wasn't till the PALAZZO COLOMBI VARIETY 2001
that I actually worked with him when he urged me to perform in the show. I must
say it was a very pleasurable experience. I worked with comedians and acrobats
who were not only of the highest calibre but also due to Georgio's acute sense
of teamwork, were also generous and willing to share the limelight. He himself
was open, fun, easy to work with and very serious about his comedy which all the
great comedians are. He will be sorely missed by all, and my condolences go to
his son and wife, THE COMEDY KIDS, and all of us left in shock who knew him, worked
with him and loved him. Losing clowns like Georgio the planet does not need right
I had heard this news verbally from Matt Child a month or so
earlier, but reading the details was still a pretty sobering experience. I was
comforted by knowing he had friends who cared about him, and his family, whom
I never knew.
(center) as Georgio in 1976
Festival of Fools; Amsterdam, Holland
to R) Mark Nelson & Georgio in 1975
Project Arts Center -- Dublin,
of my own thoughts
was a lifelong learner, and natural leader who exemplified humor, wit, compassion,
and sheer guts to those who were fortunate enough to know him. I was his friend
and fellow traveler for only a few years, but they were some of the most intense
times in my entire life. It was really important to have a person of George's
strength and goodness on the scene as we all sought our place in the wide world.|
I first met him at the Mime Troupe's studio on Hillside Avenue in Salt Lake City.
He'd been a teacher in Seattle, but was searching for something else, and found
it in Katie's movement classes. A few months later he was one of the brighter
lights of the International Mime Festival, learning some of Dimiti's harder juggling
tricks while Katie and Matt showed the whole darn world that America had mimetic
talent too -- opening the door towards Europe. He joined our group, and sharpened
his skills by accepting a previously under-used invitation from the Trolley Square
mall to perform street theater for their movie patrons. He bought a tour bus when
we needed to go on the road, and helped keep us sane, or failing that, employed.
A year after we met, he and the rest of us Mime Troupers were in Europe after
trekking from the Midwest to the West Coast and around Utah, and the Western USA.
He had talent that continued to deepen, and curiosity that never slackened. He
visited me when I lived in England, and helped me out when I suffered hard times
in Amsterdam. The last time I saw George, he recruited Pete Wear into the Mime
Troupe for a season, rehearsing in Salt Lake one more time before permanently
moving across the Atlantic.
as his Third Base clown, along with Katie as Stubby in 1976. Two
years later Third Base was playing on the Moon with Pete Wear's Batman.
Altered digitized images Copyright© by Michael Evans 2007 -- Acknowledgements
to Jan Jaap Dekker, John Brandon, Pat Eddington, De Melkweg, and our friendly,
but unknown, photographers in Ireland and Southern California.