Hello folks! This is just a quick news post to spread the word about an event I’ll be speaking at in a few week’s time, at London’s fashionable The Barbican. It’s called The Battle Of Ideas, and it’s a weekend of debates and discussions about all kinds of interesting things – one of which is Can Satire Survive In The Era Of Fake News? Well, can it? Come along on Saturday 28 October at 2.00pm to find out! 🙂
*Record scratch* *Freeze frame*
Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation…
Just a quick update because I realise I haven’t posted any news since, well, the general election. Not that much has happened since then, eh?!
Yes, as we all collectively bite our nails at the prospect of a hard Brexit/nuclear war/our favourite going out too soon in The Great British Bake Off, I have been trying to play a small part in trying to make the world a less bad place. My local Labour party has selected me to work with our Westminster City Councillors in Churchill Ward, Pimlico (London SW1) and it’s an incredible honour to join them in helping the local community. If you’d like to be part of our campaign for the Council elections (which aren’t until May 2018, but the work starts now!), then please do drop me a line via the Contact page on my site here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All help is hugely appreciated (AND campaigning is really good for getting your Fitbit steps up. What’s not to love?!).
One reason why I’ve decided to Get Involved In Politics Properly is because, well, jokes about Donald Trump can only do so much, it turns out. In fact, that’s partly the point I make in this piece I wrote for the latest issue of Fabiana (the magazine of the Fabian Women’s Network) – so please read and enjoy and check out all the great articles by other fabulous Fabian Women in it, too.
That said, I am still trying to bring down the government through the medium of satire. The brilliant comedy politics podcast I’m lucky enough to work on – Strong And Stable – has returned and you can listen to it here or subscribe to it on iTunes here. It features funny, informed people like David Schneider, James O’Brien, Grainne Maguire, Ian Dunt, Tiff Stevenson, Mark Steel, Josh Widdicombe, Jan Ravens, Jonathan Pie… and that’s just the first two episodes! Just wait ’til you see who we’ve got coming up in the rest of them!
And finally *shuffles newsreaders’ notes* outside of all this, I’m also working on a new script idea which I’m quite excited about, and not just because it’s a romcom about a comedy writer who becomes Prime Minister. Just kidding! She becomes America’s first woman President. #lifegoals #keepingitrealistic
In the meantime, I’ll be learning all these off by heart.
Greetings, electorate! This is just a quick blog post to say that I’ve been part of the writing team on a BRAND NEW (yes THAT NEW) election podcast called Strong And Stable.
It’s funnier than a pre-rehearsed joke at Prime Minister’s Question Time, it’s hosted by the wonderful David Schneider, and the guests on episode one are James O’Brien, Josie Long and Bob Mills. Oh, and it features special appearances from Jonathan Pie and Rory Bremner. I know!
You can listen & download it here in the iTunes store. Please listen, enjoy, subscribe, leave feedback… and then, of course, vote Labour. 😉
Hope you like it!
The very first show which paid me for my very first bit of comedy writing was NewsRevue.
NewsRevue is the world’s longest-running live comedy show – #fact – and writer-performers like Rory Bremner, Alistair McGowan and Bill Bailey cut their teeth on it. It takes place every weekend at the Canal Café Theatre in London – the cast (of four) and director (of one) change every six weeks – and the show consists of comedy sketches, jokes and parody songs based around the latest news events.
As a budding comedy writer five years ago, their open door policy on submissions was exactly what I was looking for. And as a musician, the words ‘parody songs’ were, well, music to my ears.
So my very first bit of paid comedy writing was for a parody song about the US midterm elections, set to the tune of Stuck In The Middle With You. The chorus went “Clowns to the left of him/Jokers to the right/Obama/Just blew the midterms, it’s true” and you’ll have to take my word for it that it wasn’t as awfully shoehorned in as that sounds. Because it got performed in the show – and my day, nay week, nay year was made.
Since then, they’ve continued to perform sketches and songs (and the occasional joke) of mine in NewsRevue, and I’m forever indebted to them – not just because they provided me with my first break, but because they continue to provide Real Live Actual People Performing Your Stuff (AND Paying For It) for comedy writers both new and experienced. I also particularly love them because they’re one of the rare places that do perform parody songs, and those are, in some ways, my very favourite comedy things to write. I’ve written a song about the World Cup in Qatar set to the tune of Do They Know It’s Christmas? (chorus: “FIFA’s world/We’ll move it to Christmastime”), a song about Liz Kendall set to the tune of Alright by Supergrass (“She’s Blairite”) and countless other silly songs for NewsRevue, and they’re a labour of love.
So here are a few things I’ve written and had performed there over recent months. A spoof of the film Room (which I loved, by the way, and it’s a crime Jacob Tremblay didn’t get an Oscar nomination for it)…
A spoof of Adele’s ‘Hello’ (because the world needed more of those, right?)…
And a song about Obama trying to push through gun control…
If you’re ever in London, I highly recommend the show, which is always performed by ridiculously talented people (they’re usually learning scripts super-quickly AND can sing); and if you’re a comedy writer, I highly recommend submitting to them. Whether you want to see it or write for it, all the info you need is on their website.