“Day after day,” writes Andrew McConnell Stott, “he sat before the mirror, brush in hand, marking his features, wiping them clean, and starting again, until finally, a face emerged from the candlelight that bore a grin so incendiary it refused to be erased.”
The production was a hit, and the new costume design was copied by others in London. Despite Dubois’ “endless bag of tricks and a vast array of skills”, his performance appeared artificial, in contrast to Grimaldi, who was better able to “draw the audience into believing the essential comedic qualities” of Clown.
The Times noted in 1813:
“Grimaldi is the most assiduous of all imaginable buffoons and it is absolutely surprising that any human head or hide can resist the rough trials he volunteers. Serious tumbles from serious heights, innumerable kicks, and incessant beatings come on him as matters of common occurrence, and leave him every night fresh and free for the next night’s flagellation.”