Laughter Lines revisited


The Laughter Lines event at Fabrica gallery on Thursday 23rd June was really well attended from all sections of the community. Strike a Light curated an event linking artists, film, performance, stand up, and a heritage talk about old time music hall which were well received.

The evening film of The Artist had record attendances, helped in part by the free bar!

The next event at Fabrica organised by Strike a Light will be on Thursday 6th September from 1-4pm, as part of Heritage Open Days including dance performances from Ragroof Theatre, creative workshops with Jane Fordham, and Clare Nias and a talk on Victorian Mourning rituals from local historian Sarah Tobias This afternoon is FREE and open to all, including refreshments.

This will be followed by a film showing of Tango, the Oscar winning film from Spanish Director Carlos Saura, looking at the passion and ritualistic nature of Tango and it’s community.The film showing is a recession busting £1 and includes wine and other refreshments. Doors open for this at 6pm and the film starts at 6.20pm.

Strike a Light researched laughter at the Mass Observation Archive based at Sussex University prior to the event from a directive issued in Spring 2002. Some of the thoughts about laughter are included below. To find out more about the Mass Observation Archive or to visit it for research purposes, check out their website here

Laughter: M.O Spring 2002

D996: F 76

‘Looking back on my life, I wish there had been more laughter in it: more witticisms given and received – more fun and sparkle and repartee’.


I still believe the best laughs are the ones you have with your friends. There is something about a group of women together that beats everything. Shorthand conversations where everyone understands everything without having to go into explanations’.

M1171 F 46

‘Laughter is the best facelift’.

M2290 F 73

‘There was such a lot of laughter when I was young, and first married. .. It is a long time since I laughed till I cried and my chest ached… but I live in hope’.

L2604 M 62

‘I also will laugh at your calamity’ Bible, Proverbs 1.26

‘A jest often decides matters of importance more effectually and happily than seriousness’ Horace, Satires (35030 BC) 1.10

‘Laughter is the best medicine’ English proverb

‘Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh’ Bible, Luke 6:21

‘Cynicism is humour in ill health’ H.G Wells Short Stories, ‘The Last Trump’

‘Men will let you abuse them if only you will make them laugh’ Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887)

‘Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else’ Will Rogers, ‘Warning to Jokers to stay off the Prince’, The Illiterate Digest (1942)

‘A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it, never in the tongue of him that makes it’ Shakespeare, ‘Love’s Labors Lost 5.2.70

S2246 M 78

‘Telling jokes is an art form possessed by few as such it cannot be learned’.