Jo Brand: Talking Comedy (hosted by Dr Oliver Double): Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 2015
Alexei Sayle: Talking Comedy (hosted by Dr Oliver Double): Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 2015
The British Stand-Up Comedy Archive: University of Kent, Canterbury, 2023
Monty Python’s Book Shambles: Bristol Slapstick Festival 2023, Old Vic, Bristol, 2023
Dr Oliver Double is an academic and was an accomplished stand-up comedian who regularly played the circuit and created Sheffield’s longest running comedy club, The Last Laugh. Since 1999, he has been based at the University of Kent School of Arts teaching and researching comic and popular performance. He has written a number of books and has helped to establish The British Stand Up Comedy Archive (BSUCA). He is also the regular compere of the Funny Rabbit Comedy Club performing at the Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury.
In August 2015, I watched Double chat to several popular comedians for a series Talking Comedy for the Edinburgh Fringe. The two separate interviews I watched featured Jo Brand and Alexei Sayle talking about their comedy careers. Double was a really engaging, intelligent, and entertaining host.
In January 2023, after being a great guest on my podcast, Double very kindly invited me to look at documents in the BSUCA. Comedians have generously donated posters, flyers, scripts, programmes, videos, and photographs to the archive. I looked at original scripts from The Young Ones TV comedy series, donated by Alexei Sayle; an original tour programme and press release for Rik Mayall’s 1987 national tour, donated by Andy De La Tour who was the support act at the gigs. The programme included the tour dates, one of which was 18th December 1987 at The Sands Centre, Carlisle which I was at, and is listed in this blog. I also looked at press releases donated from Harry Hill documenting his career, photos and programmes from Downstairs At The Kings Head donated by Peter Grahame, who co-founded the comedy club and finally wonderful memories, photos and programmes from sadly missed Jeremy Hardy’s and Linda Smith’s careers (who I saw many times at The Comedy Store, London in the eighties and at recording of BBCs The News Quiz), featuring tour programmes and photos of Hardy and Smith with amongst others, Steve Gribbin and Mark Thomas. There were donations to the archive from Arnold Brown, Richard Herring, Ivor Dembina, Hattie Hayridge, and Robin Ince and many more that sadly, I did not have time to look at. The highly recommended Archive is a treasure-trove of memorabilia for any serious comedy fan, and thanks to Double and the Archive staff for making me feel so welcome and having such a wonderful and nostalgic day. I will return to see more of the Archive and to Double compare the Funny Rabbit Comedy Club, planned for later in 2023.
For further information regarding The British Stand Up Comedy Archive (BSUCA), please click on the following link:
Double was an excellent guest for Monty Python’s Book Shambles at the Bristol Slapstick Festival that I watched in February 2023. Robin Ince chaired the talk and Double gave an excellent contribution to the discussion.