A practical investigation of how comedy works, by a well-respected practitioner and teacher. With a Foreword by Toby Jones.
Comedy is recognised as one of the most problematic areas of performances. For that reason, it is rarely written about in any systematic way. John Wright, founder of Trestle Theatre and Told by an Idiot, brings a wide range of experience of physical comedy to this unique exploration of comedy and comedic techniques.
The book opens with an analysis of the different kinds of laughter that can be provoked by performance. This is followed by the main part of the book: games and exercises devised to demonstrate and investigate the whole range of comic possibilities open to a performer.
Why Is That So Funny? is an invaluable book for teachers and performers, and a fascinating read for anyone interested in how comedy works.
Blog post: ‘I first became interested in mask-work in the early seventies when I realised that there must be more to acting than watching people sitting around, talking to each other and behaving as if they were on television.’ John Wright on discovering the potential of masks. Read on >>
‘Masks are empowering… They enable you to take risks. They provoke you into working with the reckless logic of a six-year-old or the enigmatic stillness of someone wiser than you’ll ever be. But above all, masks let you be you without your habitual limitations.’
Drama Resource’Provocative and playful… the example exercises are invaluable references… [Wright’s insights] feel fresh and welcome in both the rehearsal room and drama school training’
Drama Magazine’For a teacher wishing to find inventive new levels for teaching the craft of acting, this could be the answer… offers an innovative set of techniques for rehearsal and generates many useful ideas’
Word Matters (Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama)