Are you ‘aving a larf? Is there such a thing as Cockney humour?-Cockney Humour Event

Free on-line discussion and entertainment at 3pm on Friday March 8th – part of the Modern Cockney Festival

Is there such a thing as ‘Cockney humour’? Comedian Arthur Smith, leading culture expert Dr Mary Irwin, musicologist Tom Carradine, and Yiddish performer Vivi Lachs explore humour, from Victorian music hall to modern times in a free on-line discussion and entertainment at 3pm on Friday March 8th, part of the Modern Cockney Festival.

The event celebrates how a joke reveals insights into culture, history, and attitudes, and explores how the Cockney characteristics of a stoic and irreverent wit has been a hallmark of London life.

Arthur Smith comedian, writer, broadcaster and erstwhile ‘Grumpy Old Man’ has performed comedy all over the world, He has written every form of comedy from stand-up to full-length plays and screenplays. His play ‘An Evening with Gary Lineker’ ran for several years in the West End and his most recent show ‘Syd’, about his father was a sell out at the Edinburgh festival. Arthur appears regularly on Loose Ends on Radio 4 and presents The Comedy Club on Radio 4 Extra.

His books include his acclaimed autobiography My name is Daphne Fairfax and ‘100 things I meant to tell you’.

Dr Mary Irwin, a leading expert on regional British humour. Mary is a cultural historian and TV studies specialist, honorary research fellow in the Media, Communications and Performing Arts Division at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

She is, co-editor of ‘UK and Irish Television Comedy: Nation, Region and Identity’ and author of ‘Love Wars: Television Romantic Comedy’.

Tom Carradine will be tinkling the ivories to engage, entertain, and illuminate with both renditions of great singalong classics and peaks into their back stories. He will be peeling back the layers of love, pathos, and saucy innuendos to reveal fascinating insights into social history and Cockney music hall humour.

Musical Director at Brick Lane Music Hall in London, Tom has worked extensively as a pianist and musical director on the London cabaret circuit. He has performed at many prestigious venues such as the Queen’s Theatre London, the Hackney Empire, Cafe de Paris, Crazy Coqs, the Cafe Royal, and the Savoy Hotel. He is also musical director for Champagne Charlie and the Bubbly Boys, a 1920/30s style dance band.

Vivi Lachs is an author, historian of the Jewish East End and a Yiddish performer recording with the bands Klezmer Klub and Katsha’nes and explores the hybrid East-End Jewish fusion of music hall.

The event will also be taking a sneak peak into the pages of ‘Punch’ magazine to reveal some literally old jokes about Cockneys from Victorian times.

An event of edification. jollification, and a good laugh. It’s a rare chance to explore what makes Londoners laugh and how the humour of the non-posh Londoner has evolved over time.

Book your free place here:

The Modern Cockney Festival is a month-long celebration of the culture, heritage, and future of ‘non-posh Londoners’ aka Cockneys. It features the launch of a virtual Modern Cockney Museum, live and online events, lectures, talks, family fun days, the Modern Cockney Kids festival, and the first-ever National Pie’n’Mash Week.

It is a community partnership between the East End Bengali Heritage Society and social enterprise Grow Social Capital.

Further details about the Modern Cockney Festival, and to book tickets for the Festival’s other free events visit

Leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of tomorrow.