Comedy Book Festival returns | With Ed Gamble, Lou Sanders and many more...

Comedy Book Festival returns

With Ed Gamble, Lou Sanders and many more...

The Chortle Comedy Book Festival is back!

Ed Gamble, Lou Sanders, Sara Pascoe, Cariad Lloyd, Doon Mackichan, and Bob Cryer – son of comedy legend Barry – will all be taking part in the event, which returns to the British Library in London on March 3.

There are also more events to be announced in a smaller studio space, to be hosted by Robin Ince.

Day tickets are on sale now here – priced £30 (concessions available) with tickets for individual sessions priced £12 on sale here. 

Chortle Comedy Book Festival programme

1pm Sara Pascoe & Cariad Lloyd’s Weirdos Book Club 

Join comedians and authors Sara Pascoe and Cariad Lloyd in their Weirdos Book Club - a space for the lonely outsider to feel accepted and appreciated. Assisted by their comedian and writer friends, they discuss a book that is special, stimulating and – weird. Welcome to your new book club! Sara’s debut novel Weirdo is published by Faber & Faber, while Cariad’s book, You Are Not Alone, is published by Bloomsbury 

2.30pm Ed Gamble: Glutton - The Multi-Course Life of a Very Greedy Boy 

From a young age, comedian, Off Menu host and Great British Menu judge Ed Gamble's immaculate bibs hinted at his capacious appetite. Before he could walk, Ed already knew that he preferred poached salmon to puree, that celery was a calorie-sapping waste of time, and that mashed potatoes should be made with lashings of butter. In his new book, In Glutton - The Multi-Course Life of a Very Greedy Boy, Ed shares a relatable buffet of experiences and stories from a life lived through food.  

4pm Barry Cryer: Same Time Tomorrow. The life and laughs of a comedy legend with his son Bob and a special guest 

When the legendary comedian Barry Cryer died in January 2022, there was a vast outpouring of grief, appreciation and anecdotes - from the general public and fellow comics alike. Now, his son, Bob Cryer, is doing what Barry's humility did not allow: revealing the story of the man behind the jokes. His book, Same Time Tomorrow? is an ode both to Barry's incredible life and to the lessons he so generously imparted on the art of comedy during his sixty-year career. 
5.30pm: Doon Mackichan: My Lady Parts – A Life Fighting Prejudice  

Doon Mackichan is best known for her comedy characters in the hugely popular Brass Eye, Smack the Pony, Two Doors Down and Toast of London – but throughout her career there are parts she’s refused to take and roles she’s been forced to play. In her book, My Lady Parts, Doon shares her experience on stage, screen and in real life, examining how our culture still expects women to adhere to certain stereotypes – and punishes those who don’t.  This is a courageous, vulnerable and empowering account of being a woman in an industry that has been exposed for its deep-rooted sexism. It is, above all, a call to reflect on – and radically rework – the implications such attitudes have for future generations. 

7pm: Lou Sanders: What’s That Lady Doing? False Starts and Happy Endings 

Lou Sanders’ much-lauded memoir, What’s That Lady Doing?: False Starts and Happy Endings, is a book about  mistakes – and why we should de-flower shame in all its messy, complicated glory.  For Lou ‘We all have stories and I think it’s useful to share them, I think it helps unite us and in some ways it helps us release some shame. I've been alarmingly truthful and sincere, because I think society would be better if we could all be honest’ 

And in the more intimate studio room, Robin Ince is to host an all-afternoon Literary Lounge featuring the following sessions. Individual tickets for each session are available by clicking the headline link. 

1:15pm Adam Bloom: Finding Your Comic Genius

Adam Bloom – a multi-award-winning comedian – has written for more than 50 of his peers – and is finally sharing all of his writing methods and theories on stand-up in his advanced book… and at this highly informative session

2.45pm:  Dave Cohen: Barry Goldman: The Wilderness Years 

Dave Cohen has been a comedian for nearly 40 years and has written for top TV and radio shows, including nearly 100 songs for BBC hit Horrible Histories. His latest novel revolves around Barry Goldman, an aspiring comedian who gets sidetracked into a career in journalism. Hear Dave talk about his career stretching from the birth of alternative comedy to becoming a comic novellist.

4.15pm: Joel Morris - Be Funny or Die

Comedy writer Joel Morris – Paddington, Philomena Cunk – Charlie Brooker's Wipe – delves into the hidden world of shared laughter, revealing the mechanisms that make jokes work and what comedy can teach us about ourselves. Offering astute analysis of everything from stand-up to slapstick and sitcom to spoof, Morris examines comedic patterns, rhythms, and dynamics to uncover the algorithms that secretly underpin comedy? 

5.45pm: Zahra Barri and Njambi McGrath

A session with two comedians writing their first novels. Egyptian/Irish writer and stand-up comedian, Zahra grew up in Saudi Arabia attending both Muslim and Catholic schools which gives her writing a unique perspective. Her first book, Daughters of the Nile is an original and darkly funny novel that examines the enduring strength of female bonds.  Njambi McGrath is a Kenyan-born, UK-based comedian and author, whose debut novel Rinsing Mukami's Soul looks at revenge as a powerful tool for reclamation when young Mukami's carefully ordered life is cruelly thrust into scandal.

7.15pm: The Carry On Girls by Gemma and Robert Ross

Celebrating the women who shaped British comedy. Whether it is the seaside postcard bubbly blondes of Barbara Windsor; the hysterically historical leading ladies of Joan Sims; the coquettish authoritarians of Hattie Jacques or the statuesque confidence of Valerie Leon; the Carry On Girls are stoic, sexy, and fiercely independent. Some of the best-loved icons of British entertainment are given fitting affection and respect.

Published: 2 Feb 2024

Live comedy picks

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