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The Fool Is The Only One Who Speaks The Truth

Royal Shakespeare Company Debates

Woman calling out

Can comedy bring about real change? 

Part of a series of discussion events inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It and Measure for Measure.

Duration: Each debate lasts 1 hour

Presented by the Barbican. The Royal Shakespeare Company is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Kovner Foundation.

Meet the panel

Jessica Fostekew (Chair) is a comedian, actor and writer whose latest stand up show Hench was nominated for the Dave Edinburgh Comedy Award 'Best Show' (2019). You've seen her on BBC's Live at the Apollo, in the sitcoms Motherland and Cuckoo and heard her on behemoth podcast The Guilty Feminist and her own podcast Hoovering.

Ayesha Hazarika MBE is a columnist (Editor of The Londoner) and broadcaster who is known for insightful and witty observations on current affairs and politics. Starting in stand-up comedy, she also served eight years as the Special Advisor to the Labour Party. Her work includes Girl on Girl – The Fight for Feminism (2018) and Tales from the Pink Bus (2016).

Bethany Black is a stand-up comedian who has performed alongside some of the biggest names in comedy including Alan Carr, Sarah Millican, Tim Minchin and Rhys Darby. In 2015 she lead Russell T Davies’ Cucumber, Banana and Tofu, where she became the first trans actress to play a leading role. 

Barbican Theatre