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‘[T]his is eating your greens, this is doing your homework’: writing and rehearsing a full-length stand-up show

Double, Oliver (2017) ‘[T]his is eating your greens, this is doing your homework’: writing and rehearsing a full-length stand-up show. Comedy Studies, . pp. 137-153. ISSN 2040-610X. (doi:10.1080/2040610X.2017.1344477) (KAR id:62270)

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Until recently, the processes which comedians use to create their performances have been seldom examined. This article draws on materials from the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive (BSUCA) and a recent practice-as-research project in which I documented the creative processes behind my full-length stand-up show Break a Leg, performed at the Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury in 2015. In the months leading up to the show, I regularly recorded my reflections on the creative processes in which I was engaged, publishing these in the podcast Breaking a Leg, which is available on iTunes. Using these reflections in conjunction with script notes, set lists and unpublished recordings from the BSUCA, this article articulates what Robin Nelson calls ‘know-what’ – the performer's tacit, experiential knowledge made explicit through critical reflection – to shed light on the processes of writing, structuring and rehearsing stand-up comedy. Matthew Reason has argued that the main motivation for documenting live performance is ‘not the creation of new art but ensuring the documentation of existing art’. Building on recent work by Christopher Molineux, here I argue that this is not the case with stand-up comedy, where the purpose of documentation is very much the creation of new art.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/2040610X.2017.1344477
Uncontrolled keywords: stand-up comedy, creative processes
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1600 Drama
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1969.C65 Comedy acts. Stand-up comedy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Oliver Double
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2017 14:30 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 06:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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