#fascinatainment: Clever comedy, cabaret and theatre
Ever wanted to send your children away to join the circus? Here’s your first step. They will learn the art of comic timing, improvisation and comedy stagecraft from two former students of renowned master clown Philippe Gaulier.
From ornate Spiegeltents the other side of the world to art deco cabaret spaces in Soho, the Gallic legend once again brings his late-night extravaganza to a tent in the Midlands. Expect special guests, spontaneous happenings, a live band and Gallic superiority. “One of the finest nights in our fair city” - Time Out London
How we love him - embodying our fascinatainment heartland Robin brings his brand new extraordinary exploration of the human mind - 'I'm a Joke and So Are You. A Comedian's Take on What Makes Us Human' is a moving, beautiful, hilarious exploration of consciousness. Don't miss it.
The classicist and author who took on Boris Johnson and won – and raised the question in the minds of the people – why is it falling to classicists to take on those who need taking on. As powerful as she is fearless in the face of inequality and fake news, this author has, incredibly for 2019, completely rewritten the Trojan Wars. Join us and her for Troy Story - this time it’s the women’s war. #Fascinatainment
The Weekend Papers. An ALSO institution. Bring your coffee and start your Saturday or Sunday with us. This ALSO Festival institution features speakers from the day's programming at the festival who will bring the broadsheets to life in our great fun, fast-paced morning session.
Returing to Also - Let us be brief…. Brief//Case is a nascent creative collective, specialising in creating ‘pop-up’ performances that are tailored to unique spaces. We visit our performance site, review its heritage and aesthetic, and use what we find to produce artistic moments that demand attention.
Who will be crowned the winners of Also's Great Big Fat Festival Quiz in 2019? Grab your gang together and head to the bar to be met with our hosts with the mosts: Alexis 'The Clown' Dubus and Matt 'Gold Jacket' Morgan for a magical, musical, memorable session and massive prizes!
Does the world currently seem full of idiocy? Why not learn to integrate? With this clowning workshop for adults you can release your inner idiot, learn to play the moment, develop comic timing and hopefully find laughter in the most unlikely of places.
John-Luke has been a firm favourite of Edinburgh Fringe for many a year, creating masterpieces of inventive, intelligent idiocy. An acolyte of Parisian clowning school École Gaulier, his sellout run at last year's Fringe led to a run at Soho Theatre and a UK tour. A co-founder of irreverent collective, Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, he is a unique performer on the UK scene. "So many killer gags... coming at you from all angles and delivered with well-earned pleasure at their glorious idiocy" - The Guardian. Featuring in Cabaret Fantastique and Clowning Workshops.
PHILL JUPITUS as PORKY THE POET Stand-up, actor, improviser, radio host and team captain of BBC2's Never Mind The Buzzcocks for its entire 8-year run, the versatile Mr Jupitus graces the Also stage in the guise that kicked off his illustrious career, Porky The Poet. One-time support act for Billy Bragg, The Style Council and The Housemartins, his performance poet persona was resurrected in 2012 and still commands packed houses at Edinburgh Fringe. "An hour no-one should miss" - The Scotsman, Edinburgh Fringe
Jenny Nibbingley and Burton Mastrick truly need no introduction. As two of Britain’s most published, though least read, novellists, it’s not surprising they have been invited to today’s book festival. Their event’s moderator, Tim Timminey, likewise significant, should be turning up soon, but until then, Jenny and Burt agree to read sections from their books. Bad decision. As an ex-couple, their writing seems mainly to consist of ongoing digs at the other’s character and work. But is that all that is going on? Might this all be a reading from another book about a book talk going horribly wrong? Or is that also part of something else?
Run away to the circus with Playbox Theatre. Go upside down and round and round learning circus skills from highly experienced practitioners.
Have you ever wanted to tell your story, have your opinion heard, or read aloud your favourite poem, but not been brave enough? Then this could be your chance. Learn the art of confident speaking in our morning session and have the opportunity to share your newfound skill on stage later in the day.
Simon Caine is interested in the stories we tell ourselves vs the stories other people hear. Why do we always cast ourselves in the best part in all our stories when we share them online? And what's the truth behind them? A new show looking at our relationship with happiness and social media in an age where attention seems to be wanted over personal growth. Where experiences are only as valuable as the number of likes they get and where anxiety seems to be everywhere and I'm sure there's no link between these things
In a confused and data-drenched world, how can we see the truth of anything and hold on to what's important? A daft, but sharp romp through quantum theory, alternate realities, future humans, scientific discoveries, big data, AI, love and a murmuration.
3000 light years from doing the ironing. Gallop into the vast unknown with this multi-award winning comedian (Ideal, Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show, R4’s Art Of Now Inbox, R3’s Uncertainty Verb) for a night of traveling about in time and space, in search of the secrets for a good and fulfilled life.
Comedian Alexis Dubus unearths an overlooked national treasure, Merseyside’s cult band Half Man Half Biscuit, whose lyricist Nigel Blackwell was described by John Peel as “our greatest living poet and satirist.” A 16-album, 33-year retrospective in one hour. Dubus unpicks the cryptic lyrical codes, plays some favourite excerpts and celebrates one of Britain’s smartest, funniest and most reclusive social commentators.
Does it matter what we laugh at? Join Dr Sophie Quirk as she explores the political impact of stand-up comedy, revealing joking’s potential to do harm and the surprising ways in which comedy does us good.
Clever comedy is a big theme of ALSO19 and Joel Morris & Jason Hazeley are among Britain's busiest comedy writers winning a BAFTA for their work with Charlie Brooker - working with Mitchell & Webb, and just about everybody else. They are the writers behind national treasure TV dimwit Philomena Cunk, worked on the Paddington films, and created the best-selling Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups series and are at ALSO to explore the art of comedy writing.