RED NOSES Clowndoctors has started a unique clown programme in Austria,
the Caravan Orchestra. 


It is the first musical theatre performance led by clowns and specially designed  for children with special needs.

Vienna. The Caravan Orchestra is the first clown programme of RED NOSES, which is specifically attuned to the needs of children and youth with mental and multiple disabilities. RED NOSES Clowndoctors has been bringing laughter to sick people hospitals for almost 20 years, but with this new programme, the organisation extends its portfolio to six clown programmes for children, adults and senior citizens.

The Caravan Orchestra is made up of three clowns – all of them professionally trained artists - who travel from “oasis to oasis,” visiting institutions of curative and special education.  They adapt their visit specifically to the needs of the disabled children with whom they will spend a week. During their performance, the clowns concentrate on the receptiveness and the emotional status of their young audience and approach them in a variety of ways: with music, with colourful requisites, different sounds and, naturally, with the playful art of the clown.


A theatre of participation - a clown theatre for all senses 
The children and their situation are always at the heart of the creative performances. The story – the clowns seek additional musicians for their caravan – is easily and quickly understood and according to the age and disabilities of the children, is gradually and continuously developed. Together with the children, the clowns search for a key that fits an old trunk from overseas in which the instruments for the new musicians are to be found. With the help of their young audience, the clowns can finally open the trunk and find dozens of other keys. No instruments? Oh, yes, there are! Every child receives a bunch of keys and can make as much music with them as they like and in any way at all, becoming a part of the orchestra.

The child is at the heart of everything
Every child is personally greeted with a musical interlude of accordion and flute music. With a large turquoise cloth, the clowns transform the room into a colourful world full of magical moments. There is space, and above all, time, for a myriad of reactions. Some children open up and take part immediately, allowing their feelings to show freely: they laugh, clap, hide under the cloth or dance with the clowns, and a lovely experience of togetherness is created.

The children might also show barely perceptible, subtle reactions and the clowns become attuned to this: when a child has poor hearing, the clowns attempt to foster optical stimulation – their colourful costumes, their requisites and last but not least their red noses help them to draw attention to themselves and bring about a sense of closeness. If optical power is limited, the clowns place emphasis on the music and include the children in their playing acts. Perfectly, individually and with a great deal of sensitivity, the clowns stimulate the senses of the children and moments of personal interaction are created. 

“The clowns always address what is vital for the children and immerse themselves in their world. In this way two worlds that are compatible meet and are marked by openness and sensibility. The handicaps of the children are thus relegated to the background for a while, which often brings about a sigh of relief and gives way to a happy, relaxed togetherness and very unique and touching encounters,” says Christophe Dumalin, project director of the Caravan Orchestra and for many years a RED NOSES clown.

A programme for a special audience
“I am very happy that we have been able to start the Caravan Orchestra so successfully because it means that we close a significant gap. Children and youth, some with multiple disabilities could previously only be visited individually by our clowns during our ‘rounds.’ With the Caravan Orchestra we have now created a programme that permits us to meet this special audience at eye level, to involve the children and to address their very individual needs,” maintains Giora Seeliger, co-founder of RED NOSES and artistic director of RED NOSES INTERNATIONAL Caravan Orchestra.

A caravan travels from “oasis to oasis…..”
The Caravan Orchestra has its origin in Holland. The Foundation CliniClowns Netherlands, a cooperation partner of RED NOSES Clowndoctors, has for many years very successfully carried out a similar programme there. “We worked very closely together with our Dutch colleagues and included mutual training with the director on exchange visits, conception of the music and the costumes,” says Christophe Dumalin. This international cooperation is made possible by the RED NOSES INTERNATIONAL (RNI) umbrella organisation, which is responsible for the setting up and development of clown programmes and the training of what in the meantime are more than 300 clowns in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, Palestine and New Zealand. 

….…and from country to country
Following the successful introduction of the Caravan Orchestra in Austria and the Czech Republic, RNI will also gradually set up the programme in its other partner organisations because the demand for it exists throughout Europe.

A visit with a long-term effect
Like all RED NOSES programmes, the Caravan Orchestra is financed exclusively from donations. There are no costs for the institutions that are visited by the clowns. The “caravan“ comes to the respective institution and visits small groups of a maximum of nine persons with accompanying attendants. In this way the clowns can adapt best to the children and their differing needs and capabilities and offer every child his or her very own personal clown visit.  The results show very happy and unforgettable encounters.

All good things come in sixes!
There are now six RED NOSES programmes with the Caravan Orchestra: the children’s programme for salutary laughter in children’s wards, the programme for senior citizens for more joy in life in geriatric institutions, the rehabilitation programme for more lightness and optimism in rehabilitation centres, and Circus Patientus, a circus programme from, for and with long-term patients which turns the hospital ward into a stage.  In addition, clowns in the outpatient department visit social and medical institutions in which there is no regular programme, and last but not least there is the Caravan Orchestra, which makes the power of laughter available for children with disabilities. 


RED NOSES Clowndoctors

Eva Maria Hartlieb
Wattgasse 48, A – 1170 Wien
Tel: +43 1 318 03 13 – 16

Für die freundliche Unterstützung des Pressefrühstücks bedanken wir uns bei:




Bundesminister für Gesundheit Alois Stöger mit den ROTE NASEN Clowns des Karawanen Orchesters


copyright: Rainer Berson

v.l.n.r. Frl. Dr. Zitronella, Giora Seeliger, Mitbegründer von ROTE NASEN und künstlerischer Leiter von ROTE NASEN International, Bundesminister für Gesundheit Alois Stöger, Christophe Dumalin, Projektleiter ROTE NASEN Karawanen Orchester und langjähriger ROTE NASEN Clown, Dr. Igor Schlawinsky, Dr. Anna


copyright: Rainer Berson

Eindrücke vom Karawanen Orchester

v.l.n.r. Dr. Äbehnfaltz, Frl. Dr. Zitronella und Dr. Anna vom ROTE NASEN Karawanen Orchester


copyright: ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors

Das türkisblaue Tuch verwandelt das Zimmer in eine bunte Zauberwelt


copyright: ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors

Jedes Kind bekommt einen Schlüssel und kann damit nach Lust und Laune Musik machen.


copyright: ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors

Die Clowns tauchen in die Welt der Kinder ein.


copyright ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors

Jedes Kind wird ein Teil des Orchesters.


copyright: ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors

v.l.n.r. Frl. Dr. Zitronella und Dr. Anna


copyright: ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors


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