Tortoise Festival of ThinkIns – Things that cannot be said

Saturday 29 June 2019

Duration: 5:45PM - 6:45PM

16-19 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8DY

Status: Completed

Things that cannot be said. Imagine a world where being funny depended on picking on people less powerful than you: women; people from ethnic minorities; gay people; people with disabilities. The truth is, you don’t have to imagine – you can just watch mainstream comedy from not very long ago. There is a better way and, gradually, we’ve been finding it.

On the other hand, imagine a world where we’ve become so prickly that we just can’t rub along with each other any more. Some people think that’s where we live now. How do we pick a path between what shouldn’t be said and what cannot be said?

Our special guests for this ThinkIn included:

Jayde Adams, comedian, writer and actress.

Scarlett Curtis, writer, journalist, blogger, and curator of Feminists Don’t Wear Pink & Other Lies.

Michelle De Swarte, comedian and TV presenter. 

Lynn Enright, journalist and author of Vagina: A Re-Education.

Libby Purves, journalist and broadcaster.

The Readout 

The ThinkIn began with a Ricky Gervais quote and a nod to Voltaire: “If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things you find ‘grossly offensive’ then you don’t believe in free speech”. How does that apply to comedy and where should the limits – if any – lie? There were fascinating and surprising points of view:

What next?