Finding Our Funny Roots

 
Legendary Black Country comedians Tommy Mundon and Dolly Allen

Legendary Black Country comedians Tommy Mundon and Dolly Allen

About the project…

Humour is an intrinsic part of the Black Country’s tradition, community and values. Some of the UK’s most celebrated comedians hail from the region. The desire for a Black Country based ‘comedy’ festival has been long awaited by local people. In 2017 CBC launched the first festival of humour in Wolverhampton called ‘Funny Things’ which brought together over thirty venues across the city and a range of sectors from media, business, culture and education who hosted activities all related to humour. This ranged from celebrity stand up acts, artist commissions, photography, music, talks and film. The Festival successfully saw sold out events, new visitors into Wolverhampton and over 3,000 local people get involved.

With the help of funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund we’ll be working with local spoken word collective Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists to Find Our Funny Roots. We are looking for local volunteers to work with us to research the Black Country comedians of the past, such as Tommy Mundon and Dolly Allen, and collect stories of what makes us laugh in the Black Country, and help us create heritage tribute performances to showcase at the festival and in residential homes in the area.


We want to hear your Funny Stories

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Did you ever see Black Country comedy legends Tommy Mundon, Aynuk & Ayli or Dolly Allen on the famous Black Country Night Out? Did you get the giggles watching Lenny Henry or Frank Skinner?

Creative Back Country are looking for people to share their stories and memorabilia of seeing local comedians in an effort to find out just what is so unique about Black Country humour. Do you have funny, daft and silly tales of comedy? If you have something you’d like to share we’d love to hear from you. We want to unearth stories of comedians and comedy from 1950 to 2000, gather oral histories and find amazing anecdotes.

The team are open to ideas; from collections of old ticket stubs; to photos from events or people at comedy clubs; maybe you have a favourite joke from one of the comedians.

For the last few months we’ve been gathering some of these stories which have gone towards developing a new piece of work written, produced and performed by Dave Pitt, Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse otherwise known as Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialsits.

You’ll be able to see this brand new show at Arena Theatre on Saturday 26th October at 5pm where we invite you to join us for a chuckle down memory lane as we celebrate the Black Country comedians of the past and celebrate what makes us laugh.

This show includes British Sign Language and will be BSL interpreted and audio described.

To find out more about the project or to tell us your story email info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk.


Volunteers wanted

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What being a Heritage Tributes Action Group Volunteer involves:

Research and source content about Black Country humour including heritage performers, local language, comedy venues and local comedy experiences;

  • Attend training events including oral history, heritage research and film & editing basics;

  • Contribute to social media content;

  • Record oral history interviews and create interview summaries;

  • Work with the artists Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists to create heritage tribute performances and films;

  • Support Heritage Tributes performance events.

Travel expenses will be paid and full training provided for oral history recording, archive research, filming, editing and much more.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to like to gain skills in heritage research, collecting oral history, filming & editing and to be part of the Funny Things comedy festival in Wolverhampton.

How to sign-up - Email info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk with Finding Our Funny Roots Heritage Volunteer in the title; giving your full name, full contact details, including mobile phone number and email address

If you have any questions about this volunteering opportunity, please call Rosalind Argo on 0121 525 1127.