Matt Hoss, a University of Kent MA Stand-Up Comedy student, reviews the second Linda Smith Lecture, this year given by Andy Hamilton.
Returning for its second year, The Linda Smith Lecture came back in full glory on the 3rd May 2016 at Canterbury’s Gulbenkian Theatre. Any act would have a hard time following Mark Thomas from last year’s event, but Andy Hamilton was able to deliver.
The show had highly comical moments created by Hamilton, as he picked upon his vast wealth anecdotes which he leisurely perused at his disposal. For example he talked about throwing up regularly at Green Park, swearing as a six-year old around a campfire and calling a producer’s bluff about his “Grannie in Dundee”, as he discusses his comedy career.
Hamilton’s performance also had rather touching moments encapsulated within his lecture. In particular his moments reflecting Linda Smith were particularly poignant and well-suited for the environment and tone of the evening.
Hamilton really raised some interesting points within the world of television, offence and comedy. He talked about how television producers shy away from genre splicing, but Hamilton states that this is an alien concept as life does not separate comedy from the tragedy.
Andy Hamilton, presenting the 2016 Linda Smith Lecture, 3 May 2016, Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent
The crown jewel within Hamilton’s lecture is his main argument about how he believes that comedy is important, but it is more important to not be offended. Hamilton claims “Comedy licenses us to be subversive and transgressive about the things we fear the most. But we will no longer be able to do that if we keep on increasing the subjects that are out-of-bounds”. He backed up these moments of honesty and truthfulness with more hilarious stories, creating an explicably engaging speech.
Overall Hamilton’s lecture was thoughtful and highly comical and left the audience with glee. Certainly next year’s speaker will have an even higher expectation to perform to after Hamilton’s remarkable performance.