Acting Naturally: Performing The Beatles

  • Richard Wallace
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comedy book series (PSCOM)


The discussion of the mockumentary comedy’s focus on rock stars begins with an analysis of The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. It is argued that The Beatles use the mockumentary form to negotiate their fame in a number of different ways. First, they parody highly pressurised aspects of their daily lives and turn them into moments of comic escapism. Second, they use the form to develop comic personas, related to, but separate from, their real selves. The significance of this self-performance is highlighted with reference to the observational documentary What’s Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A., in which the band members are seen to be almost constantly acting up for the camera. As such the mockumentary frequently looks more like an observational documentary than the genuine documentary does.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Wallace
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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