3 October 2023, 19:30
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A Topping & Company Booksellers of Ely event - Unruly - An Evening with David Mitchell
In Unruly, David Mitchell explores how early England's monarchs, while acting as feared rulers firmly guiding their subjects' destinies, were in reality a bunch of lucky sods who were mostly as silly and weird in real life as they appear to us today in their portraits.
Taking us right back to King Arthur (spoiler: he didn't exist), David tells the founding story of post-Roman England right up to the reign of Elizabeth I (spoiler: she dies). It's a tale of narcissists, inadequate self-control, excessive beheadings, middle-management insurrection, uncivil wars, and at least one total Cnut, as the English evolved from having their crops nicked by the thug with the largest armed gang to bowing and paying taxes to a divinely anointed King.
How this happened, who it happened to and why the hell it matters in twenty-first-century Britain are all questions David answers with brilliance, wit and the full erudition of a man who once studied history - and is damned if he'll let it off the hook for the mess it's made of everything.
David Mitchell is a comedian, actor, writer and the polysyllabic member of Mitchell and Webb. He won BAFTAs for Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look, and has also starred in Jam and Jerusalem, Ambassadors, Back and as Will Shakespeare in Ben Elton's Upstart Crow. He writes for the Observer, chairs The Unbelievable Truth, is a team captain on Would I Lie To You? and can't drive.