Leicester has introduced a brand new comedy show entitled ‘Over It- Death, Anorexia & Funny Things’ as part of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival. The show features the comedy stylings of Dave Chawner and Robyn Perkins. The pair created the show in the hopes that it would open the public’s eyes to the problems presented. Featured are problems such as eating disorders and a ‘how to’ when dealing with death.
Prior to this showcase the pair had only participated in regular comedy nights, Dave explains to us that although standup comedy is enjoyable, there’s nothing quite like performing content that you’re passionate about. “Doing knob jokes above a pub in the middle of nowhere is fun, of course, but, actually talking about something you’re passionate about and getting a good response from that…there really is nothing else like it”.
Dave, who is from Leicestershire, previously suffered from an eating disorder himself, and believes that by taking a humorous approach to his illness, he can raise awareness for the issues hidden behind an eating disorder. And what better way to raise awareness than through humour. The aim of the show is to get the word of mouth going about a positive self-image.
The show is looking to inspire individuals by cleverly combining humour with serious content. Although there is a slight fear that the show may offend some of its viewers, Robyn feels confident that her segment is just as informative as it is entertaining. She explains that her section of the performance walks the line of offensive content, however does not cross it. The shows aim is not to offend but to inform and humor its audiences.
Robyn Perkins, whom is also a part of the show, sheds light on death and uses her segment of the performance to show individuals how she has dealt with the death of her partner. She explains that she had many experiences following the loss of her partner that she believed would be perfectly fitting to a comedy show. The show’s origin was developed when Robyn’s partner sadly passed away. Discussions of creating a comedy show begun and eventually the pair settled on an idea. The duo brought their own life experiences to the table and began on an exciting new concept. “I have always wanted to write material on Anorexia” which I responded “I have always wanted to write material on Darren”. And we did.”
Dave originally got involved in comedy at University when he was inspired by the likes of Russell Howard and Chris Addison at a comedy show. He says that he had a go himself and enjoyed performing so much that it became a regular occurrence for him. Much like Dave, Robyn also gave comedy a go and instantly fell in love with performing live comedy.
Robyn compares her comedy styling to the likes of Bill Cosby and Bill Burr, two very talented performers. She explains that this is because her performance is a story from beginning to end and these two performers are similar to her in style.
Demon Media asked the stars of ‘Over It’ if they feared that the show would offend people: Dave, “Yes! Personally, I was terrified. I’m not a very offensive person. I’m the sort of bloke who thanks the machines at the self-serve checkouts! This show isn’t about offending people; it’s about using comedy to get people talking about taboo topics.”
Although a risky topic to cover, I believe that because there is very little like this show around, raising awareness on these topics is clever and serves a purpose.
In the lead up to the shows debut, several workshops have taken place with fellow comedian, Ria Lina. The workshops consisted of comments and critique from the audience and the topic which they covered was concerning Aspergers Syndrome, another topic which is rarely discussed.
The inspiring comedy show will be presented in its entirety in February. If you’d like to catch the show, and I hope that you do, it is on Sunday February 16th at The Looking Glass in Leicester. Tickets are only £5!
Please visit: http://www.comedy-festival.co.uk/events/index.php?nav_id=2&level=1 for tickets and information on other events.
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