ABSTRACT

This chapter consists of suggestions culled from a series of interviews which have been undertaken over the last ten years with working performers who do both comic and non-comic acting. The performers were all asked about performing comedy and whether they felt there were any 'differences' in the execution of comic performance as opposed to the more widely discussed and analysed phenomenon of 'straight' acting and, if so, what these were. The actors Andrew McDonald and Neil Stewart are both experienced practitioners of both comic and 'straight' acting. Each performer, individually, took up the theme of the importance of interplay with other actors. Incongruity, for example, emerged as a facet of comic performance in terms of the performer needing to have an awareness of the absurd, for example, as Armen Gregory stated, 'success in comic performance relies on several factors, timing, energy, lightness of touch, an appreciation of the absurdity of life'.