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Palgrave Macmillan

Slapstick and Comic Performance

Comedy and Pain

ISBN 9780230364134
Publication Date July 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Slapstick comedy has been entertaining audiences for centuries. Within slapstick, comic pain and comic violence are performed to provoke laughter. This book explores just how and why the performance of pain and violence can make us laugh. It examines the centrality of the double act, the importance of morality and the techniques used by slapstick performers.

In this engaging new book, Louise Peacock provides a detailed consideration of the ways in which slapstick is structured and performed, exploring a range of examples drawn from theatre, film and television including Commedia dell'Arte, Punch and Judy, Circus Clowns, television sitcoms like Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and a wide range of films from Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times to The Hangover.

Louise Peacock is a Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Practice at the University of Hull, UK, where she teaches a range of courses related to comedy in popular performance. She is the author of Serious Play: Modern Clown Performance.

Introduction
PART I: ESTABLISHING A CRITICAL FRAMEWORK
1. What is Slapstick?
2. Structures and Techniques of Slapstick
3. Comedy and Pain
PART II: TYPES OF PAIN ANALYSED
4. Accidental Pain
5. Random Pain: Objects and Animals
6. Intentional Pain
7. Real Pain
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

This is a very ambitious book, which considers a range of examples – anything from Punch & Judy to Jackass, from Buster Keaton to The Simpsons – woven together to form an illuminating set of ideas offering new insight into the delicious art of slapstick. - Oliver Double, University of Kent, UK
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