Posts From Author: perrier comedy awards

Comedy = Tragedy + Time: A Chat With Natalie Haynes

You know that bit of clip art your computer used to throw up when you typed in drama? The two classical masks, one happy, one sad? That’s sort of like Natalie Haynes’s career. Not in a bad way, though. Thalia, the Muse of comedy, oversaw her first act — as a hugely successful stand-up (she was the first woman to be nominated for the prestigious Perrier Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe). Now it’s Melpomene’s turn, as the Muse of tragedy, to take over for Act II. The Furies (St. Martin’s Press, 2014), just published in the States, is a clever synthesis of Greek tragic tropes and modern crime fiction, set largely in a pupil referral unit in Edinburgh. (Read my review here.) Her earlier (nonfiction) book The Ancient Guide to Modern Life (Overlook Press, 2011), with its irreverent but perceptive rediscovery of contemporary culture through Greco-Roman eyes, bridged the gap. Natalie was kind enough to drop by the blog for a chat about Sophocles and Mickey Rourke, patricide at school, and the drunks of East Anglia. Charles Arrowsmith: Hi Natalie, thanks for your time. So The Furies is ostensibly a book about what might happen when you mix Greek tragedy with troubled […]
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The Chronicles of Fry

Many times while reading The Fry Chronicles, Stephen Fry‘s bestselling memoir, I was forced to confront sadly the likelihood that the world will no longer need my autobiography. Not that he and I have lived the same life exactly. I haven’t written a dozen bestselling books or had a show on Broadway or been nominated for a Golden Globe or made a series of award-winning documentaries or presented a fantastically popular gameshow — or even published eighteen and a half thousand tweets, though at least I can realistically aim to. Nevertheless, I found myself so wholeheartedly agreeing with so many of his observations on life that anything I might have to say is now effectively redundant. We even share a passion for Ricicles. But enough about me. The Fry Chronicles, through a series of words beginning with the letter C, tells the story of Fry’s life through late adolescence and the first decade or so of his remarkable career. Cereal, candy, cigarettes, Cundall Manor School (where he briefly taught), Cambridge, coming out, [University] Challenge, The Cellar Tapes (the Footlights revue co-written by Fry that won the first Perrier Comedy Award in Edinburgh), cars, commercials, celibacy, and of course his colleague — “M’Coll” — Hugh Laurie, his best friend […]
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