Craft of Comedy Conference Llandudno April 2015.

20150425_123955 (Small)     I did not spend all my time looking out of the window.

I did not spend all my time looking out of the window.

Any excuse to go to the seaside, even if pretty chilly and needing to wear a coat and hat in Nearly-May.  My excuse was to listen and speak to  some comedy writers in the hope that some rubbing off would happen. I got as far as Grantham and pulled up at a busy traffic lights when, ping! My clutch stopped working. Clutch. After receiving several hoots, glares and gestures from people who thought I had stopped at the traffic lights in order to annoy them, I was rescued and luckily got a courtesy car. I arrived at Llandudno’s Venue Cymru to find that I had missed the screening of ‘Raised by Wolves’ which I had deliberately not watched on TV so haven’t seen. I said I would like to go into the Q&A and a Jobsworth told me I could not go in and it was finishing in five minutes. After I nearly cried in front of him he took me up and said I could stand at the back. I then joined the Eating Food and Drinking activities but missed the Quiz as I had to go and look for somewhere to sleep. When I came back it was finished but I did get to talk to two others at the same table so did a small network.

The next day we all arrived and were directed to a room for the first discussion which was run by four women! What do women know about comedy? ‘Pulling’ was pulled and ‘Up the Women’ is down. That turned out to be lively and great of course, then we teleported to the next room as no time was allowed to get between rooms. I ended up at ‘A Life in Stand-Up’ where stand-ups Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Justin Moorhouse demonstrated their strong wills and sharp wits and this reaffirmed I would never do stand-up as you need bounce-ability and balls, which Kiri hasn’t got but she’s from Anglesey and can say Llanfair PG in full.

After a tea and coffee break four panelists discussed ‘Shared laughter – online comedy’ and then it was food time.  This was no ordinary lunch, it was a ‘networking lunch’,  which meant sitting at tables with other conference attendees,  previously known as ‘lunch’. As a vegetarian I was very disappointed. The eggs in the sandwiches were not free range (I asked) and when I enquired about vegetarian food I was told the cheese and pickle sandwiches on white bread were vegetarian. I used to eat them when I was ten, before anyone had heard of wholemeal bread or salad. There were some slimy potato pieces covered in oil and leek and potato soup which was dished out by the teaspoonful so I had to ask for more. The panelists had no chance to relax as they had to take their food from one table to another in a bizarre ‘speed-dating’ act which was intended to give us all a chance to speak to everyone but in reality meant watching someone eat or choke in front of you as someone asked them a question and expected a reply. ‘Don’t speak with your mouth full’  I was always told.

After food there were three short screenings ‘Eat My Shorts’, one of which split the room. I did not find it at all funny and other people were laughing loudly, confirming the arbitrary nature of comedy.  Another discussion and coffee break later we were in the final event ‘Women and Comedy in the 21st Century – Levelling the Playing Field’ which pleased me a lot. I get really annoyed when programmes like ‘Pulling’ and ‘Up the Women’, which I found very cleverly written and performed don’t get more series and some of the moronic, male dominated so-called comedy but-they-don’t-make-me-laugh programmes get recommissioned.

Apres-conference activity involved a Wetherspoons meal in a big old theatre and some magic and puzzles after midnight. All in all a great day on Saturday with some very interesting people, next time make it two days! Sunday the weather was sunny but still cool and I went onto the Great Orme and ate chips on the beach.

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Give me a chip.                                                       Give me a chip.

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Give me a chip.                                                     I won’t tell. Look into my eyes.


About torgwen

Irish Trad Musician. Documenter.
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