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Diary of a Comedy Writer: The Key to Heaven

Diary of a Comedy Writer:  The Key to Heaven

14th July 2014

"So is wife-swapping the same as that swinging, then?" I ask.

"I think so," says Andy.

"You live and you learn," I say, taking a sip of cappuccino.

These are the kind of zeitgeist lingo discussions we playwrights enjoy in our salons. Well I say salon, this writers group consists of me and Andy Moseley in the Rose Theatre cafe in Kingston. We met via the oneACTS Festival in Tolworth last year and now enjoy regular coffees to discuss matters theatrical.

We're talking about his play ‘Casual Encounters’, which is at Surgeons Hall at the Edinburgh Festival from 1-16 August. It's a dark comedy about a couple who go for marriage g…

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No one wants to see the clown cry

No one wants to see the clown cry

8th July 2014

The adage is that tragedy plus time equals comedy. In 2012 Tig Notaro stood on stage at Largo and told an unsuspecting audience that she had that week been diagnosed with breast cancer. "I am just at tragedy right now," she said. However what followed was a set of courageously honest and blisteringly funny observations of the horrific past few months of her life, culminating in her cancer diagnosis. It would seem that the only 'time' she needed to get to comedy, was the time it took to work it out on stage before her enthralled onlookers.

We are all familiar with the cliché that comedians are damaged, moody individuals who retreat from the spotlight after each…

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Diary of a Comedy Writer: Countdown to Curtain up

Diary of a Comedy Writer: Countdown to Curtain up

30th June 2014

48 hours to curtain up...

Narky Knickers Theatre is heading for Haworth Festival with my play ‘Friller’, the story of Edwardian daredevil Lily Cove. It has bloomers, balloons and Brontës and we’ve been rehearsing every night.

So now we've packed me, director Adam Wollerton and actors Barry Rocard, Charlotte Knowles and Olivia Cole into my Panda and we look more like some clown car stunt than thrusting thesps.

We buckle up but are wedged in so tight it’d take falling off a cliff to dislodge us. Still, it's not that far to Haworth is it? TomTom says about four and a half hours so we can cope. Oh yes, we're in high spirits as we set off fr…

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One Night Stand Up

One Night Stand Up

26th June 2014

Recently I re-watched Doug Stanhope's excellent 2007 comedy special 'No Refunds' in which he talks about sex-shaming and the stud/slut comparison between men and women who enjoy casual sex. "It's one equal right you'll never get," he says. "You'll be Hillary Clintons and you'll get equal pay but you want to go fuck like this guy fucks on a weekend, he gets high-fives and you get, 'Whore!'" This is of course a comparison that angry horny women have been getting irate about for years, but it hadn't occurred to me that quite apart from the actual having of casual sex, it is seeing a woman talk about it that still makes people uncomfo…

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Diary of a Comedy Writer: Rock Lobster

Diary of a Comedy Writer: Rock Lobster

16th June 2014

An email arrives. Apparently our lifelike rubber lobster should arrive today. I am not perturbed. Even though I know it’s for my husband. Even when he calls to ask: “Has my lifelike rubber lobster arrived?” I don’t bat an eyelid. It’s about par for the course round our house these days. Despite a lifetime of being militantly anti limelight and hiding steadfastly behind a keyboard, our place is now a hub of creative genius. Creative something anyway.

Husband does the publicity for the local farmers’ market and is mocking up a film poster starring the lobster. It stares at me balefully as I stand up to my elbows in suds trying to get the labels o…

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