This short introduction analyses existing accounts of the birth of Alternative Comedy. Drawing on theories of narratives as building blocks of identity, this chapter argues that collective acts of storytelling about this era are instrumental in shaping the creation and interpretation of live comedy today. Two pillars of the Alternative Comedy narrative are identified as being particularly significant: the introduction of left-wing politics expressed through political correctness and opposition to Thatcherism, and a change in the form of comedy offered as realised through an environment that cultivated hectic and exciting artistic experiment.
KeywordsAlternative comedy Comedy Store Political correctness Experimental comedy Narrative
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