To barge, or not to barge. That was the question as I made my way to the Canal Boat Adventure in Runcorn to deliver today's Feeling Funny session. The answer, in the end, was to not.
The titanic had the iceberg. And today, on national happiness day, Canal Boat Adventures had a stray mattress that put the barge out of action, and in turn our Feeling Funny session to a stand still. However the canal boat team did not quiver in the face of adversity and in true funny feeling style, the staff and participants from the session laughed off the stressful situation, found a classroom and we were finally ready to try and Find the Funny.
And we definitely did that. As I come back from my adventure my cheeks are still hurting from the laughter. It makes sitting on the aisle seat of a northern rail carriage slightly easier, it's at least making me try and find the funny side. Today's session involved some wonderful participants. We ventured into the unknown trying to find what makes us laugh and more importantly, what makes us stress and how we can laugh at it. The answer is always different. For this group of young people we found that satire and parody was the way forward.
In groups they created comedy skits and sketches that satirised and subverted the stressful into the comical. Subjects included; Boys (very stressful), Teachers (Even more stressful) and Video games (extremely stressful if you're terrible at them like me). Although I am a boy, who is also a teacher; two things that stress these participants out, everyone had a really good laugh. They all showed good skill and imagination in creating great caricatures of the people they were parodying. By doing this we were able to blur that line between comedy and tragedy and really laugh at these seemingly stressful situations. It was a pleasure working with these young people and I think we would all agree that we did in fact 'Find the Funny', not on a barge, in Runcorn.
Until next time,
This one off session was delivered by me as part of The Comedy Trusts 'Feeling Funny' course.
Read more about my freelance drama teaching HERE