Professor Joe Moran: LJMU English Research Stands Up

Last week at the Everyman Bistro, LJMU launched Liverpool Bright Club, an innovative comedy night on which professional performers were accompanied by LJMU lecturers in a series of stand up sets. Billed as the ‘thinking person’s variety night’, the aim of Bright Club is to spread the word about university research in an entertaining format.

LJMU English’s Professor Joe Moran, whose research work is focussed upon everyday experience in Britain’s recent past, took part in this pioneering night to present ideas from his most recent book Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness

Joe reflected, ‘It was an interesting process trying to fit your research into the form of stand-up, as what we do when we lecture is vaguely similar but also very different. I’m used to extemporising in lectures and you can’t really do that in a routine: you have to learn the whole thing off by heart because the lines only work when you say them a very specific way. The organiser, Tim Miles, told us how to use the microphone, and construct a line, and wait for the laugh so the audience could hear the material, and that was all really helpful. People laughing at you is a bit disconcerting though – it slightly throws you and makes you forget your place. Although obviously it would be even more disconcerting if they didn’t laugh. Anyway it was an enjoyable if very weird experience.’

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