Comedy Rationale Group membersMaria Taiwo, Jenny Moxham, Jimmy Ryan-shedden and Rowan Clift Originally we were

intrigued by the notion of post-modernity, and so we sought to invent a new form of comedy in a “non-original” society. Due to the range of possibilities post-modernity poses there was a risk that our performance would become too vague. Subsequently, we decided to focus our intention on a Post-modern theorist, Jacques Lacan. Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (1901-1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, who contributed greatly to the psychoanalysis, literary theory, and philosophy. Lacan was heavily influenced by theories of Sigmund Freud, though he developed them using a postmodern perspective. In our research, we discovered that Lacan is an extension on Freud’s previous theories. Therefore, for the benefit of our performance, it was also vital to explore and understand the work of Freud. We discovered that reading books such as, “Introducing Postmodernism”, “Introducing Freud”, and “Introducing Lacan” were not detailed enough to seriously portray the complexity of Lacan’s and Freud’s theories. Subsequently, further research was required. This included studying books such as, “Odd one in on comedy”, by Alenka Zupancic, “How to read Lacan”, by Zizek Slavoj, and “Jokes and their relation to the unconscious”, by Sigmund Freud and James Strachey. We agreed that the objective of our group would be to develop a satire of Lacan’s theories. After extensive research into Jacques Lacan we found theories such as; the mirror phase, the ego; constructionist linguistics; the name of the father; the phallus, the Oedipus complex, the logic of psychosis and jouissance, as the concepts with the most comedic value. Our ultimate aim was to create a performance that was humorous in its nature but also informative. We decided to perform a series of sketches that mock Lacan’s theories by presenting the majority of them in a lecture format. In doing this, we are able to systematically go through our outlined theories, and create a pastiche on the most ridiculous level of Lacan’s concepts. This links back to postmodernism in the fact that anything that is postmodern, is a pastiche of the past. In terms of performance style, we were inspired by Dave Gorman’s and Ricky Gervais’ approach to comedy. For example, Dave Gorman coined a new style of comedy, known as ‘docu- comedy’, in which he uses a culmination of media and stand up comedy. Theatrically, we felt that this structure would be aesthetically pleasing. We were also inspired by the way in which Gervais intelligently mocks various outlooks on delicate subjects; a discipline we wished to incorporate throughout. Bibliography:

Appignanesi R, Garratt C with Sardar Z, and Curry, P, Introducing Postmodernism 2007, Icon Books LTD, UK Appignanesi R, Zarate C, Introducing Freud 2007, Icon Books LTD, UK Freud, S and Strachey, J Jokes and their relation to the unconscious 2001, Vintage New Edition Leader D, and Groves J, Introducing Lacan 2007, Icon Books LTD, UK Zizek S, Critchley S, How to Read Lacan, 2007, W. W. Norton
Zupancic A, The Odd One In: On Comedy, 2008, The MIT Press, Illustrated Edition