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Unmasked: Neurodivergence and Comedy

Watch Joe Wells and Victoria Melody's Unmasked talk on demand on our Conway Hall Player


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Unmasked: Neurodivergence and Comedy Unmasked: Neurodivergence and Comedy

Conway Hall’s Unmasked events are discussions between neurodivergent people about their life and passion. For this event we are chatting about funny bones and funny brains with comedians Joe Wells and Victoria Melody.

There are a lot of neurodivergent people in comedy; many household names have shared their dyslexia, ADHD or autism with the public. Does neurodivergence, with its over-thinking, sideways way of looking at life and rapid-fire idea, help shape some comedian’s talent? Does having a different mind make the world funnier and is comedy a safe way for outsiders to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings, so long as they are funny? A lot of people have the anxiety of appearing on stage: what struggles are there for an ND person working literally in a spot-light?

Joe Wells made his name as a political comedian with critically acclaimed Fringe shows including ‘Night Of The Living Tories’, ’10 Things I Hate About UKIP’ and ‘I Hope I Die Before I Start Voting Conservative’, in recent years he has found online and live success with more personal material about mental health and being autistic. In 2020 Joe went viral with his stand up clip ‘Joe Wells on having a non-autistic brother’ which gained over 4.5 million views across Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok and YouTube. Joe’s new podcast ‘Neurodivergent Moments’ is produced with Abigohliah Shamaun.

Victoria Melody is an award winning British artist with a fine-art and performance background and a passion for other people’s passions. She works across art forms including theatre, film and stand-up, with and about Britain’s enthusiasts. Fascinated by anthropology, she immerses herself into communities and becomes an active participant in their rituals as research for her work. Melody uses her anthropological research, as well as anecdotes from her varied careers, including funeral director, dog show trainer and beauty queen, to fuel her stand-up performances. Head Set illustrates the lead up to her eventual recognition of her own ADHD.

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