Playing for Laughs 2013: ‘Oh, how we laughed…’
As Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival looks to celebrate their 20th anniversary of making Leicester laugh, on Saturday 9th February De Montfort University’s annual ‘Playing for Laughs’ event presented a panel discussion reviewing the past 20 years of developments in British comedy, questioning the health of live comedy today and assessing its future. The panel were:
Nica Burns, OBE: (chair) founder of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards; Artistic Director, Donmar Warehouse (1983-89); Production Director of Really Useful Theatres (1993- 05); Chief Executive of Nimax Theatres Limited (2005-present); President of Society of London Theatres (2008-present).
Kate Copstick: chief comedy reviewer for The Scotsman; judge on ITV1 series Show Me The Funny and, since 2007, a judge for the annual Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards.
John Fleming: sponsor of the annual Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards; co-producer for TV (Tiswas, Game For a Laugh, Surprise Surprise, The Last Resort With Jonathan Ross); writer of the autobiography of Malcolm Hardee; regular blogger on comedy.
The Festival, which this year celebrates two decades of making the city laugh, has, since its beginnings in 1994, grown up to be Britain’s longest-running comedy festival.
The city’s laughter lines have developed in some extraordinary and surprising ways, whether through enjoying at the stand-up comedians who form the public face of the Festival, or getting involved behind the scenes with the Big Difference Company, the Festival’s charitable arm which helps to run projects and widen smiles in communities across Leicester and beyond.
This podcast presents interviews with some of those who have been involved in the Festival over the past twenty years — Elaine Pantling, Tom Young, Kirsty Munrow, Robbie Kerr, Ishi Khan-Jackson, Raj Brahmbhatt, Jez Simons and Robin Winterton, Mark Charlton, Kathrine Brown, Sarah Oldfield and John Coster — and invites them to share their experiences of the event, to talk about what makes them laugh, to consider how comedy may have changed over the years and, of course, to tell us a favourite joke.
Produced by: Roger Clegg, with Simon Walsh
With grateful thanks to the following for their help with interviews, recording, editing and production: Conor Alderman, Chris Bulch, Sammi Bushnell, Nicky Daniels, Niyi Folarin, Caz Harby, Adam Jinkerson, Nate Johnson, Sarah Keyworth, Dave Murphy, Matt Webster, Bob Woodward.