The Kilkenomics Festival of economics and comedy was launched in the depths of Ireland's financial crisis in 2010. Five years on it has earned a reputation for being 'Davos with laughs'. Economists and comedians share platforms over a weekend in the Irish city of Kilkenny, demystifying the language and theories of economics. Comedian Colm O'Regan has been performing at Kilkenomics since it was launched and explores how the festival works.
Speaking to the co-founders of the festival, economist David McWilliams and festival organiser Richard Cook, Colm discovers what motivated them to start a comedy festival at such a difficult time for the Irish economy, and how the mood is different today.
He meets John Lanchester, author of How to Speak Money, who explains how those appearing at Kilkenomics are able to find ways to explain difficult economic concepts. He finds out what comedians appearing for the first time, like Ardal O'Hanlon, make of the event. He also hears from Irish economists and asks whether there is a 'Kilkenomics' school of economic thought. Finally, Colm meets a group of protestors against Ireland's debt who are marching at Kilkenomics to make their point.
Colm considers whether it is the Irish experience that makes Kilkenomics so appealing, or if the festival could also work in other countries.
Produced by Philip Reevell
A City Broadcasting production for BBC Radio 4.