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Who's in charge? Negotiation, manipulation and comic licence in the work of Mark Thomas

Quirk, Sophie (2010) Who's in charge? Negotiation, manipulation and comic licence in the work of Mark Thomas. Comedy Studies, 1 (1). pp. 113-124. ISSN 2040-610X. (doi:10.1386/cost.1.1.113/1) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://doi.org/10.1386/cost.1.1.113/1

Abstract

Mark Thomas is a prolific joker and social commentator. While many comedians restrict their rebellions to verbal attacks, Thomas’ material takes direct, practical effect via pranks. Under the protection of comic licence, Thomas is permitted to engage in a range of mercilessly subversive activities, and to celebrate them onstage. Like all comedians, Thomas is bound by the limits of his licence: his live audiences will reject material that crosses the line. However, the boundaries of that licence are malleable, and audiences are not necessarily as discerning as one might think. This article argues that manipulation and influence are necessary components of comic licence. I first examine the nature of comic licence, demonstrating that its source has serious implications for its limits and boundaries. I then analyse Mark Thomas’ performance in detail, weighing up the extent to which the audience may police the boundaries of comic licence against the possibility that the comedian may dupe them into laying down their resistance altogether.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1386/cost.1.1.113/1
Uncontrolled keywords: comic licence; consensus; manipulation; Mark Thomas; negotiation; stand-up
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Drama and Theatre
Depositing User: Sophie Quirk
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2015 14:57 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:56 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/49839 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Quirk, Sophie: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0109-098X
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