In the year of centennial celebrations, Her Majesty’s Theatre was beaming on Saturday night, as Adelaide was given a rare and insightful ‘behind the scenes’ experience with Matt Lucas (Little Britain), Kitty Flanagan (The Project), Professor Roly Sussex (ABC 891) and Host Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd, Icehouse) as they explored the world of comedy, In Their Own Words.
The Word Adelaide Festival included Yarn Spinning with Kitty Flanagan, a Freestyle MC Competition and Words without Music. Expecting some of the world’s funniest people to perform a stand up comedy routine would be a reasonable bet, but instead, we were taken outside convention and treated to a ‘conversation with the masters’, who generously shared raw material direct from their own lives and perspectives.
Roly Sussex, an Emeritus Professor of Applied Language Studies at the University of Queensland, commenced the evening with an intellectual exploration of what makes language funny, supported by overhead examples of some absurd and unexpected things in life that makes us giggle.
Bass guitarist, songwriter, actor and comedian, Guy Pratt has worked with some of the biggest names in music. Guy shared the formula, Comedy = Tragedy + Time and backed it up with plenty of evidence to suggest that what’s considered bad taste in the heat of a disaster, becomes fodder for humour once the heat dies down.
Intelligent, articulate and naturally funny, Matt Lucas shared his wealth of experience within the entertainment business, declaring the obligation of a comedian to make commentary on what’s going on in the moment, whether it be within the performance space, locally or globally. Humour provides many gifts and the capacity to laugh at ourselves is so important, as it enables us to come to terms with life’s more daunting moments. Matt refers to the necessity of travelling through the tunnel of failure in order to reach success, relevant in all walks of life and crucial in the development of great comedy.
Known for her reflective and observational humour, award-winning comedian, comedy writer and TV personality Kitty Flanagan recently returned to Australia after a decade based in London. Kitty shared what works and what definitely doesn’t work from her portfolio of life and comedic lessons.
In Their Own Words delivered a rich and satisfying evening of insight, education, food for thought and a good ol’ belly laugh. I learned that humour is based on the consequences set up by unknown perimeters and comedy serves to control the way others laugh at you! Within the comedy industry there are taboos and no-go areas, and as in life, there are different strokes for different folks! I certainly look forward to the next stroke of genius provided by the Word Adelaide Festival.
© Patricia Herreen 2013