One of the world’s biggest Clown Doctors is coming to town

Dr Haven't-a-Clue, Professor Bernie Warren, is in Cape Town to share his vast store of expertise on joy and humour therapy. Cape Town: On 6th April 2013 the world’s biggest clown is coming to Cape Town. He’ll be sharing his time with the University of Cape Town and a local non-profit organisation that is dedicated to healing and upliftment through the use of humour and joy, The UPliftment Programme (The UP).

Together UCT and The UP will host the world-renowned “clown-doctor” Professor Bernie Warren to share his vast store of expertise on joy and humour therapy. “Dr. Haven’t-A-Clue”, may be his Clown Dr persona, but his full time work happens at the University of Windsor. He is a pioneer in the field of healing-through-joy, bringing humour to places where serious illness, disability and hardship reign. “We focus on the healthy parts within each patient, we are much more than distraction or entertainment, humour brings healing to sick individuals, relief for their families and those who care for them” says the good Dr.

Professor Warren’s work resonates deeply with The UP, founded by bubbly Isidingo star Nicola (aka Nikki) Jackman. Jackman started working in the Red Cross burns unit with just two “care-clowns” back in 2003. “It’s amazing” she says, “I’ve observed over the 10 years that the effect of sharing joy as Care Clowns reaches all, the volunteers, the staff, the parents and especially the children”. Ten years later over 50 trained volunteer care-clowns bring humour and care to at least 8 institutions in South Africa, reaching some 2500 children a month, with another group of volunteers supported in Namibia. But there is more to the UP than therapeutic humour, there is a determined will to bring play and laughter into all of our social settings, creating ripples of kindness, self-esteem and community.


According to UP “Cheer Lady”,  Nikki Jackman, “We’ve been communicating with Bernie for over 5 years now and it’s wonderful to finally have him coming over – his work internationally is remarkable, he’s taught thousands how to use humour in healing ways and we can’t wait to have him here with UP”.


Prof. Warren’s body of work is remarkable indeed; he is an internationally respected researcher, writer and teacher on the role of the arts in healthcare and education. His expertise in performing arts, drama in education and community, psychology and martial arts is part of what makes this extraordinary man a true pioneer in his field. Over his career, spanning almost 40 years, he has trained countless clown-doctors and developed resident programs at hospitals and healthcare facilities to bring healing and kindness to patients, their families and those who care for them. He continues to don his red nose and create mirth; he has been working as Dr. Haven’t-A-Clue in healthcare facilities for more than a decade now.


The Prof is enthusiastic about his time in South Africa, saying, “2013 is my sabbatical year and I’ve chosen to spend it in Australia and South Africa sharing my experience with like-minded individuals – so together we can all expand joy and care in our world”. In these times, his life’s work is sorely needed.


The public can feel the Dr’s healing glow at two public events in Cape Town:

Thursday 11th and Tuesday 16th April 2013
18h30 – 19h30
Cost: R60p/p
Venue TBC

Experienced Care Clowns, Community Clowns, Clown Dr’s or Laughter Facilitators who are passionate about the therapy of humour can benefit from his years of clowning around in 2 intensive 1 day trainings:

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2013
Cost: R600p/p
Venue TBC



UP 083 300 2177
or to book your space or to enquire.

Press release: The UPliftment Programme
5 April 2013

Professor Warren’s books include ʺUsing the Creative Arts in Therapy and Healthcareʺ; ʺDrama Games (revisited) ʺ;  “The Clown Doctor Chronicles” (with Caroline Simonds), and “Smiles are Everywhere” (with Dr. Peter Spitzer), which will be available early in 2013.