We are delighted that the wonderful Barry Cryer has agreed to give the 2018 Linda Smith Lecture.
A personal friend of Linda’s, Barry has contributed to this country’s entertainment industry for over 50 years. He has written for some of our highest rated shows and for many of our most popular comedians. His brilliant wit is still enjoyed by millions – in theatres, on television and radio, notably the iconic I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.
The deposit of Linda Smith’s personal archive with the University of Kent in 2013 provided the inspiration for the formation of the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, which is now growing into a substantial collection, for use by comedians and for those researching stand-up comedy and associated performance arts. The Linda Smith Lecture was established in 2015 to be an annual event to celebrate Linda’s life and work, her interest in comedy and its use in and for political and social commentary, and to promote the work of the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive.
You can get your tickets for the Lecture via the Gulbenkian box office, online or in person.
In episode 16 of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ we have an exclusive interview with Bruce Dessau, the comedy critic from the Evening Standard and his own Beyond The Joke website. Together we went back to 1981 to examine a review of The Comic Strip written by Charles Spencer, and discuss the role of the comedy critic, how it has changed in the last 36 years and how comedy relates to both theatre and live music.
In Episode 15 of A History of Comedy in Several Objects we have an exclusive interview with Lynne Parker, the founder and the head of Funny Women. Lynne discusses her experiences running Funny Women, the success stories, the controversial stories, and articulates points about feminism within stand-up comedy.
In episode 14 of A History of Comedy in Several Objects the brilliantly funny comedian Angela Barnes visits the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive (you can too!) to look at a whole swathe of material relating to her comic hero, Linda Smith.
We looked at lots of material but Angela selected as her object of the episode some post-it notes which Linda had used as set-list style prompts.
Post-it notes used by Linda Smith for unknown show
Episode 13 of Histcompod features an exclusive interview with Richard Herring! That’s right – the creator of RHLSTP (“Ruh-huh-luh-stuh-puh!”), one half of comedy double act Lee and Herring, and writer of many masterful Edinburgh Fringe shows. In our exclusive interview with the fantastic “Podfather ”, you’ll hear Olly asking him a multitude of searching questions (albeit not as searching as, “Ham hand or sun cream armpit?”). Herring discusses his university scrapbook, his contemporaries and his analytical approach to comedy.
You can access this episode of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ via iTunes and acast.
Scanned image files of Richard Herring’s book ‘Diary of Comedy and Drama’, kept whilst studying at the University of Oxford, 1986-1989.
Episode 12 of Histcompod features an exclusive interview with Josie Long and her sketchpad, talking about the creative process behind her 2006 Edinburgh show, Kindness and Exuberance. You can access this episode of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ via iTunes and acast.
Drawing pad used in Josie Long’s 2006 show Kindness and Exuberance (second page)
Episode 11 of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ is now available on iTunes and acast.
In this special guest episode we talk to Warren Lakin about Linda Smith’s life and her work, feminism in comedy and the Miners’ Strike of the 1980s, focusing on a flyer for the Cable Street Community Centre show as part of the 1985 ‘Pit Stop Tour’ run by Sheffield Popular Theatre, plus an exclusive interview clip with Mark Thomas.
Poster advertising the 1985 ‘Pit Stop Tour’ in support of the National Union of Mineworkers featuring Token Women and other acts (BSUCA/LS/3/1/1/3) (c) Stephen Houfe, Warren Lakin
Episode 10 of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ is now available on iTunes and acast.
In this episode we look at at a range of evocative posters and photos from Captain JJ Waller, alongside an exclusive interview. In the course of doing so, we find out about the links between Covent Garden street theatre and alternative cabaret, and hear just how he managed to carry the weight of two London double decker buses on his chest.
Promotional flyer for Captain JJ Waller (front cover), with an image of JJ Waller, taglines ‘Oscar Winning Busker’ and ‘You too can have a body like mine…’
Episode 9 of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ is now available on iTunes and acast.
In this episode, we look at a programme (from the Linda Smith Collection) for the 1986 Red Wedge Comedy Tour, a run of pro-Labour performances featuring comedians such as Mark Miwurdz and Porky the Poet. The Red Wedge Comedy Tour emerged from the political initiative ‘Red Wedge’, a collective of performers, fronted by Billy Bragg and Paul Weller among others, who formed in 1985 and organised a number of major music tours in 1985, along with comedy tours in 1986 and 1987.
Episode 8 of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ is now available on iTunes and acast. In this episode we look at a few different flyers from Nick Toczek’s collection. The main focus of the episode is two flyers dating from 1994 for the Bradford comedy cabaret club ‘Cracker’. You may spot a familiar name on both flyers… We also feature an archive audio recording of Olly compering at the Last Laugh in Sheffield in the 1990s.
Cracker at the Java cafe Bradford flyer, 8th October- 26th November 1994. Featuring acts such as Ross Noble, Mary Unfaithful & Attila the Stockbroker (c) Nick Toczek