Clowning around underground

Tara
Tara Bradbury
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Beni Malone

St. John’s clown Beni Malone is combining circus with science for his latest show, and taking it underground.

Malone, of Wonderbolt Circus, has developed a one-man family oriented show called “Wunderground,” and will be performing it at the Johnson Geo Centre for the month of November.

“Wunderground” follows the adventures of Mr. MasterMinder, Malone’s eccentric 1950s-style sci-fi style scientist.

“In this show, he’s a geological scientist and he goes to the earth’s core, looking for samples, and brings him back to his lab, and looks for sources of energy for his incredible robotic power pack,” Malone explained. “It deals with all kinds of geological and energy issues in a clown-like way.”

The show opens with a video of Mr. MasterMinder collecting samples at the earth’s core, then he enters the theatre in his nine-foot robotic suit. In his lab, he juggles “molten” rocks, spins tectonic plates, and uses a giant pogo stick as a jackhammer.

“It allowed me to run riot with my imagination,” Malone said. “It’s the perfect setting for a character I love. It’s the way I’ve always wanted to show the character.

“It’s designed for kids and families just to say, ‘Yeah, I never thought about that before, maybe I’ll look that up.’ We don’t give you all the answers, obviously, in the show, but hopefully it’ll stimulate kids’ imaginations on everything from volcanoes to earthquakes to the earth’s core and everything else in between.”

Malone says he, too, learned new facts about the earth in preparing the show, with the help of Geo Centre interpretor Keith Moore.

Developed by Malone and the Geo Centre with sponsorship from Nalcor Energy and the Canadian Geological Foundation, “Wunderground” also had the help of Justin Simms, Dashi Malone and local fashion designer Sara Hodder, who created Mr. MasterMinder’s costumes.

“Wunderground” opens Sunday, with shows at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and will run each Saturday and Sunday this month at the same times. The show is also available from Monday to Friday for school bookings.

A separate admission will be charged for the show.

 

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Geo Centre, Canadian Geological Foundation

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