COMEDYSPORTZ: ONE YEAR ONLINE!

Our ComedySportz match this Saturday (20th March) marks one year of online shows since the world first went into Lockdown last spring. We hope you’ll join us for this very special match with a very special guest player!

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? Two teams go for comedy gold with quick-witted gags and games inspired by your suggestions. It’s an all action, all improvised competitive comedy show for all ages with a referee ensuring a good clean match! Who wins? YOU decide! Shows stream every Wednesday and Saturday at 7pm GMT via our youtube channel. Subscribe today and never miss a match!

Last year we had no choice but to “Yes, And” the situation and since then we’ve done nearly 150 online shows and performed to audiences all over the world. Thank you to everyone that has supported us and laughed with us during this time. This past year has seen plenty of challenges but also, hopefully, plenty of laughs as well.

Our players have kept innovating and inspiring with their creativity and commitment to fun and laughter. We asked some of our players and fans to share what a year of laughs in lockdown has meant to them.

Bron refs our very first online show overcoming new and exciting technical problems!

BRON EDGE:

The team really came together to figure out how we could keep connected to our fans. I love this new connectivity we have to the audience, and how our audience can also chat with each other about the show…. or whatever else they are thinking! I’m going to miss that when we are back on a stage, at least I hope people aren’t going to be chatting through the show…

It has been lovely to see the spirit of Yes And seep into the audience as well, one audience member even found out that another desperately wanted a specific jumper knitted… and they knitted it for them!

JOHN COOPER:

Its amazing to see how the online shows have develop in the last year. From the beginnings of figuring out zoom and how well a show could even work, to experimenting and finding great new games that really only work online like Art Critic and Story Draw….where I get to draw…..what’s not to like ??

KATE McCABE:

I think it’s highlighted how important is is to be agile. Not just as an improviser but as a person. One positive is that people have been agile WITH us. Joining us on YouTube and cheering us on while we try new games and keep the good times rolling.

Ben and housemate Harry during a live show!

BEN HODGE:

Starting with ComedySportz online has been such an interesting challenge! Adapting to this new way of performing has been eye-opening and also loads of fun. It has given me the chance to play with so many different people who I may not have had a chance to meet and improvise with otherwise. It’s great for connecting with our international friends and having the opportunity to play with them!

SEAN MASON:

Even though lockdown has kept us apart, going online has kept us connected to our CSz Worldwide family and fans. The last year has shown just how positive a force improvisation can be as it gives us the tools and creative mindset to solve problems and adapt. It has been a real joy to keep doing shows and workshops online – a lifeline really.

Being able to develop new games, new ways of playing and connecting has actually been really fun. I am ready to get back into live shows soon though!

Dalu never fails to surprise with his endless supply of wigs.

DALU THEBE:

From starting Comedysportz Manchester most if not all my matches have been played online. This I have found useful in practices, getting to know new games and particularly in allowing me to use and gather props, something that perhaps wouldn’t have happened in live shows. (EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re not sure if Dalu is going to manage without his trusty Marge Simpson wig. We’re not sure the audience will either).

The technology has allowed the show to continue throughout lockdown and has been a constant source of much needed fun and silliness.

Felix getting his team into trouble for timing Chris Tavner’s refereeing!

FELIX JANEWAY:

Performing online has shown me that improv is liquid. It has the ability to fill whatever space we give it, and virtual space has offered us new nooks to play in; using backgrounds, props, music and video to make multi-layer jokes which aren’t possible in other formats.

I play with Comedysportz for connection and that aspect has not only been unchanged, it has broadened to include connection to anyone anywhere (technology permitting).

The main challenge I have faced is not being able to perform with members of the troupe who are unable to play online, but it has been brilliant to get into the nitty gritty of the structure of the match, the roles which support the match and all the technology we can use to support it.

Even online we’ve still been able to make use of audience volunteers.

LUCY RYAN (FAN):

We started watching the online Comedysportz shows when they started back in March 2020 – and they have been what has kept us going throughout lockdown. In the misery of lockdown the Comedysportz shows have been the one thing that have always been guaranteed to make us all (adults and children alike) laugh. Laugh out loud, real belly laughs., laugh until we are crying. The humour is genuinely warm – never unkind or mean-spirited – and the shows are deliberately accessible to as wide a range of people as possible. But more than just making us laugh, the Comedysportz shows have created a community; you always know you can show up and “join in”. In a year where social interaction had been so lacking THAT is more valuable than I can describe. Thank you everyone at Comedysportz.

JOAN MYERS (FAN):

My husband Jeff and I have been fans of CSz Buffalo in USA since 2006. We had the honor of seeing Manchester perform at the World Championships in Philadelphia in 2019. They are a very talented group. When the pandemic hit and closed everything we started watching Buffalo on ZOOM. We then started to find other ComedySportz cities to watch. Manchester is our go to since it is on at 2 pm our time. We love it because we get to see several games not played in Buffalo. My favorite is Karaoke. We think everyone is very funny and look forward to our Wednesdays and Saturdays. We also love their take on Star Trek. That is totally hilarious!! Although we really haven’t met most of them personally, we love them all and consider them friends. Will miss seeing the shows when live performances start back. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t worry, even when live shows return we’re going to keep doing online shows as well).

Hit the video above to catch this Saturday’s anniversary match. We are delighted to be joined by CSz founder Dick Chudnow. Dick started ComedySportz in the USA in 1984 and we’re very excited to have him join us for this online match.

The stream goes live at 6.45pm GMT and the match kicks off at 7pm GMT. As always our online shows are family friendly and free to watch – however donations are gratefully received and go directly to our players.

All being well, our return to live shows with distanced audiences is now only a couple of months away but we’ll be continuing with our online shows and workshops too. Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on all of our upcoming online and live events. Got a favourite memory of our online shows? We’d love to hear from you!

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International Women’s Day Match

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day this week with a special match this Wednesday 10th March. It’s an all women, all improvised competitive comedy show you won’t want to miss! The stream goes live approx. 6.45pm GMT and the match will kick off at 7pm GMT. You can watch the show live – and for free – here.

This weekend also sees the return of our March Mayhem Match – that puts you in control of the teams and the games – and our first Mothers Day Match that sees ComedySportz players team up with their mums for more improvised gags and games!

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Guest Players and Refs

We’re still continuing our online shows every Wednesday and Saturday to keep people laughing during lockdown. While the current restrictions may be keeping us apart right now, we’re using our online shows to stay connected with our CSz Worldwide family and audiences around the world. We have lined up guest refs and players from other ComedySportz teams to join us – with more to be confirmed in the coming weeks!

Subscribe to our youtube channel today to never miss a match. Shows are family friendly and free to watch.

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All Upcoming Shows

Live Shows Return!

We started 2020 with plans for new shows and new venues across Manchester, as well as our biggest Edinburgh Fringe yet! Things… did not go to plan and it hasn’t been the most laugh filled year for live comedy. Luckily our players “Yes, And-ed” the heck out of the situation and we’re now fast approaching 100 online shows! However, since lockdown began the one thing we’ve all been waiting for is the return of live comedy shows…

…So we’re absolutely delighted to announce that on Thursday 29th October we will be performing our first live show since February! We’ll be coming out of lockdown at the aptly named Lock 91, Manchester. Tickets will go on sale via our website in the next few days and we’ll also be adding information to our on how we’re adapting shows to make them COVID safe for audiences and  players.

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? Two teams go for gold with quick-witted gags and games inspired by your suggestions. There’s a referee to ensure a good clean match with fouls for bad behaviour and bad jokes. It’s all action, all improvised competitive comedy fun where YOU get to decide the winner!

 

To make things even more exciting, this show will be an improv double bill with the absolutely brilliant Absolute Onions. They’ll take a Karaoke classic chosen by the audience and perform an improvised narrative that will uncover the surprising real story behind that song!

Please note that due to Lock 91’s licence the venue is strictly 18+ so, whilst we’ll still be playing a good clean match we can’t allow children in the audience.

COMEDY CLUB 4 KIDS

UPDATE: UNFORTUNATELY THESE GIGS HAVE NOW BEEN CANCELLED.

However, on Friday 30th October we’re joining our friends at Comedy Club 4 Kids for an afternoon of family friendly fun at Theatr Clwyd, Mold. Comedy Club 4 Kids get the best Stand-Ups, Improvisers and Sketch Acts from the international circuit for fantastic family friendly shows. It’s a doozy of a line-up too as we join compere Silky and master of mischief Martin Mor for an hour of non-stop giggles! There are two chances to catch the show (1.30pm and 4.30pm) and advance booking is required.

ONLINE SHOWS AND WORKSHOPS CONTINUE

We’ll be continuing our online ComedySportz matches every Saturday at 7pm BST. You can watch and subscribe at our youtube channel. Catch our 3rd October show here. Our online ComedySportz matches are family friendly and free to watch (however donations are gratefully received).

We also have two extra shows this month including the return of the New Adelphi Comedy Night in collaboration with Salford University and the second episode of The Improvised Final Frontier, our new sci-fi parody show. Please note neither shows are family friendly.

We still don’t know when we’ll be able to start in person workshops again however we are making tentative plans for how this might happen. In the mean time our improv drop-ins are back with a great line up of fun and friendly workshops. Sessions run Saturdays 2.30-4.30pm BST and cost just £5. They’re a great way to hone your improv skills, have fun and play online!


We’ll still be continuing with our online content for the rest of the year and we’re hoping to announce even more live events (including our improvised pantomimes) in the coming weeks. Join our mailing list for monthly announcements and be sure to follow us on social media for regular updates on all of our shows and workshops. Thank you for continuing to support live and livestream comedy!

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Upcoming Improv Drop-Ins

 

 

Online Free Fringe Festival!

This year would have been our biggest Edinburgh Festival Fringe yet but sadly it was not to be… Luckily the show will go online with the Online Free Fringe Festival!

Watch Free Comedy Online

Going online means we’ll have to deep fry our own mars bars but we’ll be doing four shows a week to keep you laughing throughout August. We’ll be doing daytime shows (Mondays and Fridays at 12.30pm BST) and evening shows (Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7pm BST). Going online means we can still be joined by ComedySportz players from around the world.  All of our shows during the online free fringe festival are family friendly and free to watch, however, donations, as always, are gratefully received.

So, if you’re looking for some lockdown laughs or missing the fun of the fringe, you can watch our shows at our youtube channel. Our youtube channel also has plenty of clips from past Edinburgh Fringe runs as well. Visit our shows page for a full schedule of upcoming shows.

We’re delighted to be partnering up with the Free Festival again and there are some brilliant shows (not all family friendly mind) to keep you laughing throughout the month. We’re continuing to look at how we can return to live performance and hope to have some good news in the coming months. Until then we will continue to do shows and workshops online. Stay safe and keep laughing!Missing