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On the halls: Ms/readings and negotiations

  • Frances Gray
Chapter
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Part of the Women in Society book series

Abstract

An American woman tells us her history. She has stylised, she has shaped it for laughter, but it is hers, not a collection of gags that do not touch the personal. The older women in the audience laugh because they have lived something like it and it is good to have their sometimes-painful experience transformed on the stage; they frequent comedy clubs for this very reason.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (Faber: 1974) pp. 70–1. Compare also Victoria Wood on turkey necks in Sold Out (Methuen: 1991).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Quoted by C. Gallagher, Who Was That Masked Woman? The Prostitute and the Playwright in the Plays of Aphra Behn, in R. Barrecca, Last Laughs (Gordon & Breach: 1988).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Quoted in W. Willeford, The Fool and his Sceptre (Arnold: 1969) p. 28.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Helene Cixous, The Newly Born Woman, translated by B. Wing (Manchester University Press: 1987) p. 32.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Quoted in H. Scott, The Early Doors (Nicholson & Watson: 1946) p. 140.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Jerome K. Jerome, The Idler, March 1892.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    Cited in J. S. Bratton, ‘Jenny Hill; Sex and Sexism in the Victorian Music Hall’, in J. S. Bratton (ed.), Music Hall: Performance and Style (Open University: 1986) p. 95.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Quoted in H. Chance Newton, Idols of the Halls (EP (reprint): 1975), p. 111.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    T. S. Eliot, Selected Essays (Faber & Faber: 1941) p. 456.Google Scholar
  10. 17.
    Quoted (with some indignation) by Naomi Jacob, Our Marie (Hutchinson: 1936) p. 199.Google Scholar
  11. 18.
    See, for example, P. Bailey (ed.), Music Hall: The Business of Pleasure (Open University: 1986) p. xii.Google Scholar
  12. Also M. Banks and A. Swift, The Joke’s On Us (Pandora: 1987) p. 44.Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    Cited in Tracy C. Davis, Actresses As Working Women (Routledge: 1991) p. 119. This usefully investigates the relationship between comic and erotic material.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 20.
    Sheila Jeffreys, The Spinster and Her Enemies (Pandora: 1985).Google Scholar
  15. 23.
    H. Willson Disher, Winkles and Champagne (Collins: 1938) p. 120.Google Scholar
  16. 25.
    Alec Guinness, Blessings in Disguise (Hamish Hamilton: 1985) p. 10.Google Scholar
  17. 26.
    Played by Harry Thompson, Radio Lives, BBC Radio 4, 26 July 1990.Google Scholar
  18. 29.
    Cited in L. Martin and K. Segrave, Women in Comedy (Citadel: 1986) p. 291.Google Scholar
  19. 30.
    Cited in Lande Smith, The Stars of Standup Comedy (Garland: 1986) p. 131.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Frances Gray 1994

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  • Frances Gray

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