James Campbell's Shut Up Stupid
Comic plays for kids of all ages
This article is from 2008.
James Campbell is envied and acclaimed across the comedy universe for carving out a triumphant career performing stand-up for kids. While his Comedy Club 4 Kids continues to train young folk from the ages of six upwards in the hard-nosed business of making people laugh, in recent years Campbell has turned his talents to drama.
Plays such as The Spinistry of Moonerism and The Onomatopoeia Society have been a hit with audiences of all ages, thanks to their irreverent humour and gentle word-play. ‘I try and write plays for everyone,’ says Campbell. ‘Kids get put into categories too much. If it was possible to have my plays listed in both the theatre and kids sections, or if there was just a category for things you can’t categorise, that might be good.’
He describes his latest Fringe play, Shut Up Stupid as an ‘experimental black comedy’, which deals with such hot topics as language, teddies, neuro-linguistic nightmares and blankies. While Campbell’s taking a break from his one-man stand-up show this year, he’s still happy to be keeping so many irons smouldering in the fire. ‘The best thing about my work is that it gets to be in two places at once, sometimes more,’ he says. ‘Some days I have a play on in one theatre, the Comedy Club 4 Kids in another and me doing my one-man show somewhere else. Eventually I shall take over the world and then I’ll paint it shiny.’
Sweet ECA, 0870 241 0136, 3–25 Aug, 4pm, £7–£8 (£6–£7). Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £5.