MAKE a date for Paul Mayhew-Archer, whose writing credits include ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ when he brings his show ‘Incurable Optimist’ to Solihull.
Presented by the Solihull branch of Parkinson’s, it’s Paul’s story of a lifetime in comedy and living with Parkinson’s.
After Cambridge and a brief career in teaching, during which he organised a school trip and got left behind, he joined the BBC and has been trying to make people laugh ever since.
As well as the above two shows his writing credits also include the screen version of ‘Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot’ starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman.
He produced the much-loved Radio 4 shows ‘I’m Sorry I haven’t A Clue’ and ‘Old Harry’s Game’, and as a script editor has worked on everything from ‘Spitting Image’ to ‘Miranda’.
In 2011 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
It’s an incurable illness that gets progressively worse and has over 50 symptoms.
It is also – as Paul quickly found out – funny and since then, he’s had some of the best times of his life.
In 2016 he made his first documentary, ‘Parkinson’s: The funny Side’, for which he won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Presenter.
In 2017 he started doing stand-up about Parkinson’s, first at the Royal Albert Hall then at The Comedy Store.
In 2018 he took part in his first podcast, sitting next to The Archbishop of Canterbury, and performed his first ever One-Man show, ‘Incurable Optimist’, at the Edinburgh Fringe.
In 2019 he toured the show round the UK and now post-Covid, he is bringing it to Solihull in aid of GDNF Research, a groundbreaking new treatment that offers promising results.
Paul is appearing on May 10 at 7.30pm at the Bushell Hall in Solihull School and tickets cost £12 via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07905 598285 or 07825 511994.