On the evening of Wednesday 19th April, award-winning Caroline Burns Cooke is Yootha Joyce, in her play A Testament of Yootha, a bitter-sweet tribute to the star of hugely successful SitCom Man About the House, and its spin-off George & Mildred, who hid her alcoholism from her adoring friends and fans. The Wee Review commented: “Burns Cooke is a superb actress [in] a play that transcends its subject.”
On Thursday 20th April, The Big Impression star Julian Dutton performs Do You Think That’s Wise?: The Life and Times of John Le Mesurier, his solo show salute to the man behind the wry smile and urban repartee of Sergeant Wilson in one of the nation’s best-loved and most enduring television comedies, Dad’s Army. The Independent dubbed the play: “an impressionist tour de force.”
While on Friday 21st April comedy legend Jeffrey Holland (Hi-de-Hi!, You Rang, M’Lord?) presents his much-acclaimed one-man show …and this is My Friend Mr Laurel: a celebration of the friendship, shared memories, and remarkable lives of the greatest of double acts, Stan Laurel and Olivier Hardy. The Stage called it: “spellbinding and magically, timelessly funny.”
Finally, on Saturday 22nd April, it’s an all-day celebration of some of our most popular situation comedies. The Ultimate SitCom Day will include live on-stage interviews with such stars as Brian Murphy (George & Mildred, Last of the Summer Wine), Robert Gillespie (Keep it in the Family, The Good Life), Louise Burton (Are You Being Served?, The Dick Emery Show), and reunions of the casts of Mind Your Language, and Please Sir!
The Write On Comedy Carnival is presented in tandem with an exhibition at the Watford Museum which celebrates such local fools as Carry On star Terry Scott; pioneering Goon Michael Bentine, Ealing comedies scriptwriter T.E.B. Clarke; and contemporary all-round entertainer Bradley Walsh.
The exhibition will be launched on April Fools Day, Saturday 1st April, and it’ll be April in April when its officially opened by actress and thriller writer Linda Regan, fondly remembered as April in Hi-De-Hi!; and the goddaughter of that show’s co-writer Jimmy Perry.
Jimmy Perry, whose other hilarious writing credits include Dad’s Army and It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, was an instrumental force in the Watford Repertory Company, and we mark the centenary of his birth this year.
Britain’s Comedy Historian and Write On Comedy chairman Robert Ross is available for interviews for all or some of our up-coming April attractions.
This is a book festival like no other. The sole purpose of this book festival is promote and offer writers on comedy and writers of comedy to join together for a day of celebration. Each author will be available at a table to sign copies of their books as well as sell any additional merchandise. There will be an array of authors, illustrators and comedy writers.
Not only that, but each author will be able to give a short talk about their work.
Our first festival was held at the Museum of Comedy on Saturday 11th June and the event was an intimate and joyous occasion.
Here are some of our guests who appeared at the 2022 Book Festival
A few memories from our wonderful day at the Museum of Comedy