Friday, 10 February 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair / Hwyl Llandeilo LitFest: Julian Dutton

Like the pervious two interviewees in this series, Julian's appearance at the Book Fair in Llandeilo will be his first.
However, after the event I doubt that he'll be a stranger to many of you. Besides his table at the Book Fair, Julian will be part of an expert panel on scriptwriting for TV and Film on Sunday, 30th April 3pm in the Angel Inn.

Welcome Julian. Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair.


Keeping Quiet is a love-letter to the modern sight-gag on film and television, tracing the history of physical clowning since the advent of sound. Taking up the story of visual humour where Paul Merton’s 'Silent Comedy' leaves off, it charts the lives and work of all the great comedians who chose to remain silent, from Charlie Chaplin – who was determined to resist the ‘talkies’ - right through to the slapstick of modern-day performers such as Rowan Atkinson, Matt Lucas and Harry Hill. Spanning nine decades, it shows how physical comedy, at first overshadowed by dialogue-films in the 1930s, reinvented itself and how this revival was spearheaded by a Frenchman: Jacques Tati. I draw on my own experience as a comedy writer and performer to give an analysis of the screen persona and the comedy style of dozens of the screen’s best-loved performers including Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton, Harpo Marx, Norman Wisdom, Jerry Lewis, Benny Hill, Peter Sellers, Eric Sykes, Marty Feldman, Ronnie Barker and many more. This book is aimed both at the serious student of film, television and theatre - including those aspiring to write or perform comedy - and to the general reader and comedy fan.

Which genres do they belong to? 


Tell us about your newest book.

My latest book is a novel for children, ‘The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys, aged ten and three quarters.’ It’s the fictional journal of the great diarist when he was a schoolboy, at the outbreak of the English Civil War.

Which of your books are you’re most proud of, and why?

I think I am most proud of my history of comedy, as it seemed to fill a gap in the market, as no other book had been written that traced the history of visual comedy after the advent of sound to the present day. It has bought by quite a few university libraries, which I’m proud of.  

What is the best thing that has been said about your books?

Harry Hill said my book is ‘A brilliant history of modern slapstick,’ which I count as something of an accolade, coming from one of the finest comedians in the country.

Why did you decide to come to the Llandeilo Book Fair?

I think this is a fantastic initiative that will boost the cultural life of the whole area and am delighted to be part of it.

Do you have a special connection to Wales?

Yes, my Grandparents were Welsh, and all my aunts and Uncles, and since childhood Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire has been my second home, in particular Llandovery. Now it’s my main home.

What is your personal background?

I have worked as an actor, comedian and comedy scriptwriter for TV, radio and film for thirty years.

Who are your favourite authors?

P.G. Wodehouse, Dickens, Chesterton, Jerome K. Jerome, Alison Uttley, William Sansom, Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, John Le Carre.

Please share your social media links and buy links to your books.

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