Britain’s only comedy book festival is back
The UK’s leading comedy website, Chortle, presents a funny and fascinating day of sessions as comedians talk about their books, from memoirs to TV tie-ins to their astute social observations. The line-up includes Adam Kay, the former medic behind the Sunday Times bestseller This Is Going To Hurt, The Guilty Feminist’s Deborah Frances-White, Sofie Hagen, Alex Horne, Robin Ince, and award-winning Radio X presenters Elis James and John Robins.
Early bird day passes £32 / £29 / £25 are available until 31 December. £40 / £36 / £30 after.
Day Passes include access to any session subject to room capacity. Single-session tickets are also available.
Doors open 13.00
13.30 – 14.30 Alex Horne: Taskmaster
13.45 – 14.45 Fry and Laurie's Soupy Twists Live!
15.00 – 16.00 Robin Ince
15.15 – 16.15 Jessie Cave
16.30 – 17.30 The Guilty Feminist
16.45 – 17.45 Offence in Comedy: Panel Discussion
18.00 – 19.00 Elis James & John Robins
18.15 – 19.15 Sofie Hagen
19.30 – 20.30 Adam Kay
19.30 – 20.30 Sitcom Geeks with Jonathan Coe
Books will be on sale throughout, with our comedians and speakers signing copies.
The line up!
Alex Horne is the creator and co-host of the BAFTA and Emmy award-nominated TV show Taskmaster, now made and shown all over the world. This is an opportunity to hear Alex introduce his new book Taskmaster: 200 Extraordinary Tasks for Ordinary People, participate in a task or two and ask him some questions.
Fry and Laurie’s Soupy Twists Live!
January 13th marks the 30th anniversary of the first ever broadcast of A Bit of Fry & Laurie on BBC Two, and to celebrate, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie have granted their official biographer, comedian Jem Roberts, the right to perform an hour of completely unseen material from the Fry & Laurie archive. Abetted by CheapShow podcaster and Digitiser star Paul Gannon, Soupy Twists Live is a must-see for any fan of the sophisticated silliness of ABOF&L. Bet you can't eat three.
Robin Ince, host of The Infinite Monkey Cage, has written a book on what the birth, behaviour, anxiety and storytelling of comedians may tell us about all humans. I'm a Joke and So Are You was described by The Observer as ‘a book about the heart; full of warmth, wisdom and affectionate delight in the wonder and absurdity of being human’ and by Chortle as ‘one of the best books ever written about what it means to be a comedian, mainly because it’s not satisfied to be just that’ Robin talks about how the events of our childhood shape who we are, dealing with inner voices through puppetry and how larking about on stage can create a connection and give people permission to confront their idiosyncrasies and express their strangeness. He will also do some silly voices and tell stupid stories
Jessie Cave is an actress, comedian, writer and cartoonist known for her role as Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter film series, and for her shows in London, at the Edinburgh Fringe and around the UK. She has just published her latest show Sunrise in book form; an honest, tender-hearted and uproariously funny story about crying in the woods, sexual accidents, Harry Potter conventions and Instagram espionage – but also about motherhood and trying to get stuff done. It includes dozens of full-colour, never-before-seen doodles by Jessie. It follows her collection of doodles Love, Sick (2015).
The Guilty Feminist
In 2015, Deborah Frances-White described herself as 'guilty feminist' for the first time. Her goals were noble but her concerns were trivial. She desperately wanted to close the pay gap, but also wanted to look good sitting down naked. It became the title of a hit comedy podcast and now a funny, joyful, frank and inspiring book about embracing both feminism and our imperfections. Join Deborah as she explores what it means to be a 21st-Century feminist...
Offence in Comedy panel discussion
We live in a time when a joke can go round the world in a split second, getting you death threats in a dozen different countries and a hefty fine and a criminal record in this one. Why even bother with jokes in this brave new world of 24-hour news, snowflakes and Twitchfork Mobs? Hosted by comedy writer James Cary, who has written jokes about bomb disposal in Afghanistan (Bluestone 42), defended comments about Islam by Ben Elton on Newsnight, been on a panel with radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary and sits on the General Synod of the Church of England. James is joined by comedian, former Westminster adviser and London Evening Standard columnist Ayesha Hazarika and comedian Jay Islaam.
Elis James and John Robins
Join Elis and John for a live reading from their debut book The Holy Vible. Over the course of the reading they will deal with topics such as Shame, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and also give a rare glimpse into the off-air world of commercial digital indie radios most un-produceable presenters.
Sofie has always been fat, but after years of struggling with her body image and subjecting herself to countless diets, she started to worry less about fad diets and impossible beauty ideals and began to challenge the origins of these deep-seated aspirations. Her debut book, Happy Fat, is out in April, and is part-memoir, part-social commentary, and part impassioned plea for us to fight back and reframe our toxic relationships with our bodies. Copenhagen-born Sofie was the winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award best newcomer in 2015 and the Chortle Best Newcomer Award in 2014.
Adam Kay is a writer and comedian. This is Going to Hurt, the book revisiting his former career as a junior doctor, has sold over a million copies. It has spent seven months at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller list and has been translated into 28 languages. It is the winner of three 2018 National Book Awards (Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year, Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year), Blackwell's Debut Book of the Year 2017, Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year, iBooks Book of the Year, Esquire Book of the Year, Books Are My Bag Readers' Award and Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction Prize. The live show of This is Going to Hurt has sold out a run at the EICC (the largest venue in the Edinburgh Fringe) and a major UK tour including the Hammersmith Apollo. Adam is currently adapting the book as an eight part comedy-drama for BBC Two.
Sitcom Geeks with Jonathan Coe
Sitcom Geeks is podcast for those interested in the mechanics of situation comedy. Hosts James Cary and Dave Cohen talk to special guest, the author and writer Jonathan Coe, who’s novels include The Rotter’s Club (2001) and its recent follow up Middle England. James Cary’s new book The Sacred Art Of Joking is released on January 17. He is also the creator of Bluestone 42 and Hut 33, and writer on Miranda. Dave Cohen’s The Complete Comedy Writer is out now. His writing credits include Have I Got News For You and Horrible Histories.