banana peel

Author: s1357934

The Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is often described – rather dismissively – as a prankster. His new exhibition at Blenheim Palace, however, has been much applauded for revealing a deeper, more thoughtful aspect to his practice. While the disdain demonstrated in responses to his previous work as ‘mere’ jokes or one-liners reiterates a conception of […]

Watching three recent comedies which feature characters with disabilities, I notice a similarity in the techniques which seek to address a mainstream, able-bodied tension around the disabled body. Speechless, is an ABC sitcom about a white family with a teenage son – J.J – with cerebral palsy, who needs an aide to communicate. Kenneth, his […]

The US sitcom Speechless is one of a groundswell of recent television shows with a disabled main character. Special on Netflix and Jerk on BBC3 were created by and star actors with cerebral palsy, while Don’t Forget the Driver on BBC 2, also has a central character with the condition. All are billed are comedies, […]

Terry Eagleton’s new book, Humour (2019), is going to prove to be indispensable reading, and one of its great strengths is the sustained analysis of the psychoanalytical mechanisms underlying humour. Using Freud’s insights into the capacity of humour to release ‘the psychic energy we normally invest in maintaining certain socially essential inhibitions’ (11), Eagleton develops […]

Lucy McCormick’s recent Fringe show, Post Popular, reprises the comically narcissistic persona used in her 2016 show, Triple Threat, but this time with added trauma. ‘Lucy’ was more broadly comic in the first show, but now there are hints of a darker backstory: she mentions the death of her father and there are oblique references […]

Richard Gadd’s solo show, Baby Reindeer, which is just completing its run at the Edinburgh Fringe, has some similarities with Hannah Gadsby’s work. Both artists can only loosely be described as comedians at this point in their respective careers, given their preoccupation with explicitly traumatic material. Comedians have long used the often painful intimacies of […]

Hannah Gadsby, known primarily for her 2018 Netflix special, Nanette, has created another show which has just started touring. In The New Yorker, Hilton Als wrote a less than glowing review. Rather unfairly, given I haven’t seen the second show myself, his response has distilled some of my own suspicions. Justly commended for her attempts […]

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