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Exploring the Potential of Disabled Comedians in Improving the Lives and Experiences of Disabled People


Project description

This qualitative research project is framed by 3 main aims:

  1. To investigate the production and enactment of comedy performed by disabled comedians in terms of its enabling functions for disabled performers;
  2. To explore how much independence and control disabled comedians have in the construction and development of their comic acts, and specifically how they use the comic mode as a vehicle to subvert, challenge, critique and move beyond dominant stereotypes and caricatures surrounding disability and to counteract disabling practices;
  3. To examine the ways in which disabled comedians and their performances can have positive impact on disabled and non-disabled audiences’ understandings, perceptions and appreciation of disability and thus enable disabled people to ‘move beyond disadvantage’.

These aims are addressed via a combination of semi-structured interviews with disabled comedians, stand-up comedy performance observations and semi-structured interviews with stand-up comedy audiences.