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Are you kidding me? Featuring Nels Abbey, Shaparak Khorsandi & Tom Shakespeare

Are you kidding me? Featuring Nels Abbey, Shaparak Khorsandi & Tom Shakespeare

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Brighton Book Festival invites you to join us to explore the power of funny. Hosted by the writer and columnist Nels Abbey with guests comedian Shaparak Khorsandi and writer Tom Shakespeare.

Saturday 22nd June. 7.30pm

We’ll discuss how satire and comedy can reach the parts other writing can’t reach – and ask, is it time to take comedy writing more seriously?

Nels Abbey is a writer, broadcaster and regular columnist for The Guardian. A former banker, he is the author of Think Like a White Man: A Satirical Guide to Conquering the World…while Black. His new book, The Hip-Hop MBA: Lessons in Cut-Throat Capitalism from The Moguls of Rap, is out later this year.

Shaparak Khorsandi – previously known as Shappi – is a comedian and author. She is the daughter of the Iranian political satirist and poet Hadi Khorsandi. She rose to fame after performing her show Asylum Speaker at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and appears regularly on television and radio. Her most recent book, Scatter Brain, was published in 2023.

Tom Shakespeare is a sociologist and ethicist. He works at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he leads teams researching disability and mental health in Africa and Asia. He has presented programmes and documentaries, and worked as a stand-up comedian, an actor, a dancer and an artist.

Together, they’ll discuss comedy and satire in fiction and non-fiction, offer advice on how to write scripts and stand-up ­– and challenge the myth that marginalised groups only write about trauma.

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