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Comedy - Barnstormers

Aaron Allston summed up the difference between tragedy and comedy pretty succinctly. ‘Tragedy is something awful happening to someone else, while comedy is something awful happening to someone else.’ Mel Brooks put it more Mel Brooks-ily. ‘Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into a sewer and die’. Steve Martin called comedy ‘the art of making people laugh, without making them puke’. Dario Fo phrased it rather more intellectually. ‘Comedy makes the subversion of the existing state of affairs possible.’ Carol Burnett had it down as this ‘Comedy is tragedy plus time,’ which we, frankly, don’t get. Paul Lynde, rather prosaically, put it like this. “Comedy is exaggerated realism. It can be stretched to the almost ludicrous, but it must be believable.’ Warren Mitchell said ‘comedy comes from conflict, from hatred.’ Was he racist, or just portraying racism?

Comedy is notoriously difficult to write well, let alone to write about well, so we’ve tried to let others do it for us. There are four comedians appearing at the Royal Oak tonight. All of them are professional, all of them make their living making people laugh. Gordon Southern is the most famous, a veteran of TV and radio. Tommy Campbell lets you into his maladroit love life. John Torrens is breaking into the scene. Kevin Precious is a seasoned compere. If you are in the right mood, and they do the job well, they will make you laugh. If they do their job really well, they’ll make you cry a little too. As Peter Ustinov puts it, “comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.” DL


The joke’s on him: Gordon Southern stands up and will be counted
on to make you laugh at the Oak
Where?
Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 7pm for 7.30pm
How Much? £10/£8 in advance at the pub. £6 NUS.