Feature

A serious business: what can comedy do?

After years spent in dark comedy clubs and cramped rooms above pubs, Mary O’Hara knows what makes her laugh. But what else can a good joke do? She meets the performers and researchers who say that comedy can change how we think and even how we act.

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The do-nothing dilemma

When Judy Refuerzo heard the word ‘carcinoma’, she began considering her treatment options. But two years on, she’s chosen surveillance over surgery. Was she right to? Charlotte Huff meets her and other so-called watchful waiters.