Beyond a Joke? Comedy, Culture and the Public – Preview

Daniel Wren

Leading comedy study researchers from London are giving a series of talks at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe for five days in a row on aspects of studying comedy. Topics include when comedy and free speech or political commentary clash.

The academics will give daily talks on the big and controversial issues in the comedy industry, including comedy and free speech, the dynamics of comedy taste and the relationship between comedy and disability.

Dr Sharon Lockyer, Director, Centre for Comedy Studies Research at Brunel University London, said:

‘We aim to encourage people to reflect on and question the complex, knotty and unpredictable business that is comedy, leading to a greater appreciation of the role of comedy in our culture and lives.

‘The seminar series is designed as a public engagement event to involve people with innovative research that is taking place in Comedy Studies.’

The programme is:

Wednesday 13th August: 11.10am – 12.10pm
Laughing about Free Speech: How Humour Helps Free Speech Thrive in Public Spaces
John Roberts (Brunel University London)

Thursday 14th August: 11.10am – 12.10pm
‘Working’ For Your Laughter: The Rise of the British Comedy Snob
Sam Friedman (City University London)

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Friday 15th August: 11.10am – 12.10pm
Finding the Funny in Disability: Comedy and Disability on the British Comedy Circuit
Sharon Lockyer (Brunel University London) and Geoff Rowe BEM (Big Difference Company)

Saturday 16th August: 11.10am – 12.10pm
Kicking Against the Pricks: The Satirical Wisdom of Tory Anarchism
Peter Wilkin (Brunel University London)

Sunday 17th August 11.10am – 12.10pm
From Royston Vasey to Number 9: The Dark Comedy of Pemberton and Shearsmith?
Leon Hunt (Brunel University London)

To book tickets visit

Daily: 11.10am to 12.10pm
Wednesday 13 – Sunday 17 August 2014
Just the Tonic Community Project
82 Candlemaker Row
Edinburgh EH1 2QA
Tickets are £5.00 each

About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.