Monday, 8 March 2010

A bit of fun

There's quite a lot in True North about the region's comic tradition, both the conventional comedians of the past and their successors such as the League of Gentlemen who have made such excellent hay with all the terrible cliches still believed in too many quarters down South. Alas, I don't think the awful goings-on in Royston Vazey have helped us that much though. I have - genuinely - met half-a-dozen people in London who think that our life really is, more-or-less, like that.
On a less well-known level, I've had endless pleasure from the witty work of John Morrison - for example his View from the Bridge trilogy (Pennine Pens 1998 onwards) which plays pop with the upper Calder Valley. Hebden Bridge is disguised as Milltown, with a recognisable cast of types congregating at the Grievous Bodily Arms. I also much enjoyed Women are from Venus, Men are from Mytholmroyd (Mutton Stew 2000). John's moved to the Lake District now but continues to write, not just humour but good guidebooks too. Another jolly scale on Northern cliche is The Thoughts of Betty Spital (Yorkshire Arts Circus 1987). Read, for example, of her work through the Sheffield Pensioners' Liberation Army to promote youthenasia. There is much more in this genre, and I'll return to add titles as I creep along my shelves.

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