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Comedy as Commentary

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LSE Literary Festival event

Date: Saturday 2 March 2013 
Time: 7-8.30pm
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Gareth Edwards, John Finnemore, John Morton, Joanna Scanlan

Jokes can explore the cracks and contradictions in our attitudes and conventions, sometimes with a crowbar. Much comedy writing can be read as a kind of commentary on social life, based on close observation and incisive questioning. Are comedy writers our colleagues in social science? LSE welcomes a panel of writers, actors and producers of today’s best loved comedy in the UK to talk about their work and their field. 

Gareth Edwards is a producer and writer making shows for radio and television. His production credits include the BAFTA-winning That Mitchell and Webb Look, Warhorses of Letters and Bleak Expectations. His writing includes a range of TV sketch shows and the Radio 4 sitcom Artists; children’s books including The Big Jungle Mix Up; and the blog “Some Kind of Explanation” - an attempt to explain everything in the entire universe.

John Finnemore is an award-winning comedy writer and actor of and in comedy shows on radio and television. He writes and stars in the sitcom Cabin Pressure and the sketch show John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme. He co-writes David Mitchell’s Soapbox and appears in many other comedy places including The Now Show and The News Quiz. 

John Morton is a British writer and director for television and radio. He created, wrote and directed the much acclaimed People Like Us which began life on Radio 4 and transferred to BBC2. People Like Us won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Comedy and the Silver Rose for Comedy at the Montreux Television Festival, as well as being nominated for a BAFTA, a British Comedy Award and a South Bank Show Award. John's latest comedy series Twenty Twelve, revolving around preparations for the London Olympics, first broadcast on BBC4 and BBC2 in 2011. The second series aired in two seasons across the build-up for the games in 2012.  Twenty Twelve was nominated for Baftas, Broadcast Award and won a Comedy Award.

Joanna Scanlan is an actress and television writer. She writes and stars in the award-winning sitcom Getting On with Vicki Pepperdine and Jo Brand. Her many credits as an actress include Heading Out, The Thick of It, In the Loop, Little Britain, Stardust, and Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Update, Friday 22 February: Unfortunately Vicki Pepperdine is no longer able to take part in this event, but we are delighted that John Morton and Joanna Scanlan will be joining the panel.

This event forms part of LSE's 5th Space for Thought Literary Festival, taking place from Tuesday 26 February - Saturday 2 March 2013, with the theme 'Branching Out'.

This event will be followed by Sonify, a quadraphonic installation accompanied by a drinks reception with cash bar and complimentary nibbles, in celebration of the Festival's closing night.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest


This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).

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