Camden Peoples Theatre launches Beyond a Joke festival

Sara Pascoe
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A new festival which highlights stand-up comedy’s relationship with theatre is to be held in London next month.

The Beyond the Joke festival has been rganised by the Camden People's Theatre and is set to bring young theatre-makers create work that more closely resembles stand-up and will include shows from Sara Pascoe, Rachel Mars and John-Luke Roberts.
The festival, which has been programmed by the Guardian’s comedy critic Brian Logan, and organised by Jenny Paton.
Speaking about the festival organisers said: "There's so much exciting work at the moment happening in the margins between standup comedy and theatre. Many of the best stand-up’s want to do more than just make people laugh - and have the talent to back that up.
“A host of great theatre-makers, in search of more direct ways to communicate with audiences, are appropriating standup techniques. We could have programmed this festival twice over. As it is, this is a selection of the most inventive and entertaining work that the field of standup theatre has to offer."
The number of comedy shows which verge on theatre has risen in recent years, with Daniel Kitson and Phil Nichol both producing critically acclaimed shows which resembled plays more than straight stand-up. For more information visit the Camden People's Theatre.
Beyond a Joke festival is set to show:
Rachel Mars : The Way You Tell Them,
January 2013: 9-12, 17-19, 24-25 7.30pm
This show by Mars interrogates the desire and sometimes uncontrollable compulsion to be funny.
Sara Pascoe : Emily’s Very Sad Play
January 9 & 10 9pm
Sara Pascoe is set to show Emily’s Very Sad Play which has been described as a fusion of theatre and stand-up comedy, telling the story of a young woman with confused memories and an unhealthy absorption of literature.
John Luke Roberts is taking Sock Puppet
Tue 15 & Wed 16 Jan 7.30pm
Created and performed by John-Luke Roberts this show delves into dark and stupid comedy – with the main character Ralph Guiltless’s life heading nowhere.
Sh!t Theatre | JSA (Job Seekers Anonymous)
Tue 15 & Wed 16 Jan 9pm
Created and performed by Sh!t Theatre, the show has been described as a humorous exploration of the (un)employment situation in the UK today. 
Chris Bush & Ian McCluskey | The Loves I Haven't Known    
Thur 17 & Fri 18 Jan 9pm
Chris and Ian could fit their collective romantic history onto the back of the world’s smallest and most depressing postcard, but rather than dwell on the past they invite you into their fantasy land of might've-been’s and roads untraveled. 
Tom Wainwright Buttercup
Sat 19 Jan 9pm
Tom Wainwright delves into bovine humour with the tale of Buttercup, a far cow from Lancashire who is keen to meet audience members and tell you, amongst other things, how she won Masterchef by feeding her stillborn baby to a fish and a potato and what happened when she was made the star of her own TV show The Only Way is Lancashire.
Mark Kelly, Maggie Inchley, John-Luke Roberts | Beyond the Joke scratch night
24 & 25 Jan 9pm
A double-bill of new works-in-progress from some of the brightest names in standup-theatre. In What a Day by Mark Kelly and Maggie Inchley, two strangers meet for the first and last time in unusual, desperate circumstances. 
Daniel Bye | The Price of Everything                                                 
Sat 26 Jan 7.30pm & Sun 27 Jan 6pm
A performance lecture about value. How much is beauty worth? What will people pay for an air guitar on eBay? 
Richard DeDominici | Popaganda
Sat 26 Jan 9pm
Sit back and relax to the dulcet tones of Richard DeDomenici as he ham-fistedly attempts to destabilise global cultural hegemonies with a series of stupid audiovisual gags, songs that aren’t real, facts that aren’t funny, and jokes that don’t rhyme, in his new show Popaganda. 
Julian Fox | Beyond the Joke closing night cabaret
Sun 27 Jan 7.30pm
An evening of commissioned performances celebrating what happens when stand up and theatre collide. The evening is curated by standup/theatre legend Julian Fox.