Get yourself on a comedy writing class at Richmond Adult Community College (RACC)

London Event Reviews by May B

Last night I went along to RACC to hear Tony Kirwood, a successful comedy writer, deliver a two hour talk on comedy writing. And I laughed. A lot.

With a surprisingly understated style, no doubt developed during his 10 years as a writing tutor rather than his career as a stand-up comic, he provided great insights into the craft of writing comedy which he called “the Cinderella of the arts”.

He explained techniques such as mind-mapping, exaggeration, juxtaposition, characterisation, metaphor, incongruity, surprise, conflict and reversal. He illustrated his points with examples from The Good Life, Smack the Pony, Steptoe and Son, the Fast Show, Little Britain and Victoria Wood’s work. Tony interspersed his talk with video clips from The Two Ronnies.

He even provided an exercise so that we could have a go at writing jokes ourselves – and some were pretty good. After answering questions, Tony kindly signed copies of his new book “How to write comedy – discover the building blocks of sketches, jokes and sitcoms” (£9.99). A bargain considering attendance at the lecture had cost just £6.

The lecture was part of Richmond Adult Community College’s Festival of Learning. There are numerous other one-off and weekly courses being run as part of its School of Ideas including various creative writing classes including a 10 week course on comedy writing (£165), a five week “workshop your novel” series (£75) and sessions on writing situation comedies and magazine articles. There are also courses on art history, philosophy and journalism.

A few years back I attended the five week “Write a novel in a month” course (£75) and found it to be an excellent source of ideas and advice provided by an expert tutor. And last night’s lecture inspired me to dust off my previous work and get writing again. Beyond blogs.

RACC is in Richmond, Surrey – just five minutes’ walk from the Richmond underground, overground and train station.

Posted Date
Jun 10, 2016 in London Event Reviews by May B by May B
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