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Monster laughs assured
Eric Davis as Red Bastard. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Los Angeles-based performer Eric Davis describes his alter ego Red Bastard as a "dangerous, seductive comedy monster".

A "bouffon" clown with a bulbous red body and a nasty sneer, Red Bastard's major aspiration is to leave his audiences not only laughing but perhaps also having had a life-changing moment.

"Things happen at a Red Bastard show that won't happen at any other show," Davis said.

"Some people have proposed marriage . . . I've had audiences crying because someone has done something courageous and vulnerable."

According to Davis, the art of bouffon is all about making your audience uncomfortable – sometimes to the point of getting into an argument with them.

“If clowning is an audience laughing at a clown’s flaws and ridiculousness, bouffon is the opposite,” he said. “The bouffon is a grotesque outsider who laughs at the audience’s flaws. But you have to balance that with charm and seduction, so you can open up the audience and invite them to find out something about themselves.”

Davis said his bulbous red costume was designed to “make the body more fun to move in than even my own”.

“I’m actually quite a skinny, angular guy, so I thought it would be cool to create a body that was kind of voluptuous,” he said.

While Davis remained deliberately sketchy on what actually happened during his 80-minute “charm, disarm, shock and seduce” performance, he said not everyone would love his anarchic show.

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“But there is definitely something to be taken from it if people are ready to participate,” he said.

Red Bastard is on at the Fringe World Circus Theatre until Sunday.