What do visits look like?

20120203-_DSC0695-2In preparation for our visits, we first meet with a key staff person to identify priority clients and to hear any relevant updates since our last visit. After a swift transformation into our clown personas we are ready for action!

Encounters take place in private rooms, in hallways, in elevators, in procedure rooms and in common areas – wherever the clients may be.

Each encounter develops organically from the interests, needs and abilities of the individual in that moment.


First, we seek permission to engage, looking at body language and verbal or non-verbal receptivity. We then follow the cues of the individual, which drive the content of the visit.

In this visit, “Mr Green” hears us knocking and turns to greet us with a warm familiar smile. “Come in!” he says excitedly, with a welcoming gesture. Dizzy and Peachy squeal with pleasure, and greet him with hugs and kisses. Mr Green asks them where they have been. Dizzy responds with a humourous and dramatic tale of her day. Mr Green laughs. Mr Green is eyeing Dizzy’s uke as she sits down, so she hands it to him to explore. He strums and laughs, strums and laughs, enjoying the sound he is making. Dizzy and Peachy chime in with intermittent tra la la’s in time with his strums. Dizzy then takes out a flute from her purse. Mr Green is very interested and asks to see it. They exchange instruments and Mr Green suddenly blows a sharp note on the flute, startling Dizzy and Peachy. We all dissolve in laughter together.

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Far from simple entertainment, we seek to be in relation to each person, offering empowering and personalized experiences within the play. We carefully integrate each person into the very fabric of the creative experience, allowing the client to determine content, level of participation, length and direction of the interaction.


We maintain our clown personas throughout our time on the units, allowing visitors, staff and carers to participate and laugh as we make our way through the hallways and common areas.

After our visiting day, we spend time reflecting on and recording each client’s responses during our visit. Our observations are kept on site for staff to review and reference.

Read more examples of our visits in Stories and Anecdotes.