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Palgrave Studies in Comedy

The Politics of British Stand-up Comedy

The New Alternative

Authors: Quirk, Sophie

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  • Argues that today’s comedy alternative demonstrates both continuity with, and significant development from, the British Alternative Comedy form that emerged in the late 1970s and 1980s
  • Utilises a range of empirical analysis, drawing on original interviews with key practitioners 
  • Offers a concise analysis of stand-up comedy’s place within the cultural and political discourse 
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eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-01105-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-01104-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This Palgrave Pivot questions how a new generation of alternative stand-up comedians and the political world continue to shape and influence each other. The Alternative Comedy Movement of the late 1970s and 1980s can be described as a time of unruly experimentation and left-wing radicalism. This book examines how alternative comedians continue to celebrate these characteristics in the twenty-first century, while also moving into a distinct phase of artistic development as the political context of the 1970s and 1980s loses its immediacy. Sophie Quirk draws on original interviews with comedians including Tom Allen, Josie Long, John-Luke Roberts and Tony Law to chart how alternative comedians are shaped by, and in turn respond to, contemporary political challenges from neoliberalism to Brexit, class controversy to commercialism. She argues that many of our assumptions about comedy’s politics must be challenged and updated. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the working methods and values of today’s alternative comedians.

About the authors

Sophie Quirk is Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent, UK, where she specialises in stand-up comedy and popular performance. She is the author of Why Stand-up Matters: How Comedians Manipulate and Influence (2015). 

Reviews

“In lucid and jargon-free prose Quirk treats the British alternative stand-up comedy scene as both discursive community and commercial enterprise. She draws upon her interviews with stand-up notables to make two insightful arguments. First, the egalitarian experimentalism attributed to the Alternative Comedy of the 1970s and 80s is a partial narrative minimizing the presence of conservative voices. Second, in the face of new generational audiences and current political problematics, contemporary alternative comics are turning to more personal, caring and didactic forms. An engaging and suggestive read.” (Sammy Basu, Willamette University, USA)

 

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-01105-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-01104-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Politics of British Stand-up Comedy
Book Subtitle
The New Alternative
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Comedy
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-01105-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-01105-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-01104-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 131
Number of Illustrations
3 illustrations in colour
Topics