A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up

A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up $26.99

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Chris Head

Published by Methuen

"It opened up a world that I didn't know before and haven't stopped exploring since. I hope this book does something similar for you" ~ Will Gompertz


The ultimate solo art form

Yet behind the scenes, you will increasingly find the shadowy figure of a director

For comics themselves and for those who support them, this is the first book to give the director's perspective on creating and performing stand-up comedy

Drawing on his own experience of directing stand-up alongside speaking to comedians and their directors, Chris Head produces a revealing perspective on the creative process, comic persona, writing stand-up, structuring material and delivering a performance

Directors interviewed include Logan Murray, John Gordillo and Simon McBurney, who between them have directed Eddie Izzard, Michael McIntyre, Milton Jones, Lenny Henry and French & Saunders

With a foreword by BBC arts editor Will Gompertz and contributions from many other interviewees including Oliver Double (author of Getting the Joke), this is the only book that goes all the way from one-liners to theatre via comedy club sets and full-length shows

Perfect for stand-ups from newbies to pros, students of comedy, academics studying and teaching stand-up and for directors themselves, A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up offers hundreds of inspiring practical insights and shows how creating the comedian's highly personal, individual act can be a deeply collaborative process


Foreword: Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor

Act 1: On Stage Identity/Off-Stage Process

1. Directing the Persona: The Comedic Self
2. Where Comic Ideas Come From (And How to Cultivate Them)
3. How Directors & Stand-Ups Work Together

Act 2: Writing & Performing Stand-up

4. The Interplay Between Writing and Performance
5. Writing Jokes: Afterthoughts & Beforethoughts
6. Re-Writing Jokes: To Fix Them, Improve Them and Suit the Teller
7. It Takes Two: Incongruity, Transpositions, Analogies, Personification & Bathos
8. Developing and Structuring Stories & Routines
9. Set-up/Payoff in Stories & Routines
10. Directing the Stand-up Performance

Act 3: Full Length Shows & Theatre

11.Developing and Structuring Full-Length Shows
12. Vulnerability and Pain in Stand-up Shows
13. Case Study: The Naked Racist
14. Stand-Ups Do Theatre
15. Theatre Makers Influenced by Stand-up

Afterword: The End

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