Non-Fiction Books:

Writing Comedy


Paperback / softback

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Writing Comedy by Ronald Wolfe
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Packed with hints, tips and warnings, this is the complete newly revised guide through the minefield of comedy writing. Experienced scriptwriter Ronald Wolfe reveals the secrets of the trade. Sharing his success with the reader, Ronald Wolfe explains how to get started in the business and how to present your ideas in an impressive way. He explains the different techniques required for TV, radio, stage and film, and includes sound advice on working methods. Maurice Gran and Laurence Marks, creators and writers of Birds of a Feather, discuss their experiences of team writing. The book is full of good advice from such top scriptwriters as Carla Lane of Bread, Jack Rosenthal, Barry Cryer and Alan Plater. Ray Galton recalls writing Hancock's Half Hour, and Andy Hamilton tells how he and Guy Jenkin created Drop the Dead Donkey, and Ian Brown, one of the writing team, tells of the American style teamwriting of My Family. Is it harder for women to break into comedy? Experience and advice are given by Beryl Vertue, executive producer of Men Behaving Badly and Coupling. Actors like Tony Robinson and Warren Mitchell reflect on their experience of working with comedy writers, and producers and directors. Robin Nash, former BBC head of comedy and Micheal Jacob, editor of BBC Comedy development explain how they develop the talent of new writers. Crammed with examples from the scripts of well-known series and crisp analysis of comic formulae, Writing Comedy is a book every comedy scriptwriter will value.

Author Biography

Ronald Wolfe has been a comedy writer practically all his working life. He has written for feature films, stage shows, radio series and (in partnership with Ronald Chesney) has scripted over 500 episodes of television situation comedy. Amongst others he helped create the classic comedies The Rag Trade and On the Buses. He has worked extensively abroad, for all the major networks in the USA, and in Canada, Australia, Scandinavia and Holland. He is a visiting lecturer in writing TV comedy at the City University, London, and regularly speaks at SitCom workshops run by the BFI on the South Bank; the National Film and TV School, Beaconsfield; University of Kent School of Drama, Film and Visual Arts; London Department of New York University; University of Barcelona, Spain; KomedyHaus, Hamburg, Germany; and the Writers' Summer School, Swanwick. He lives in Temple Fortune, North London.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 2003
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
3rd Revised edition
Robert Hale Ltd
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