Halloween Spooktacular this October!

Ghoulish gags and games abound in our Halloween special at the end of the month. Players will be adding a little pumpkin spice to our usual family friendly show as teams get you screaming with laughter with spooky sketches and songs inspired by your suggestions.

Screaming with Laughter this Halloween

Instead of the red and blue team this month it’ll be the Dead and Boo teams vying for your laughs with special themed games. Don’t worry though, there’s still a referee on hand to issue penalties for bad jokes and bad behaviour – like trying to eat your brains!

It’ll be great fun for the whole family this Halloween with treats for any audience members in fancy dress. Who wins? You decide!

For families with younger kids there is also ComedySportz 4 Tots at 3pm with plenty of big laughs for little kids.

Our Halloween special is always lots of fun and just the start of a fantastic autumn/winter line up of shows. Don’t miss our 18th Birthday weekend on 16th November with shows at Waterside Arts and Chorley Little Theatre – more details coming soon. Then, in December, our Improvised Pantomimes return with shows at Waterside Arts and The Palace Cinema in Longridge!

ComedySportz Halloween Spooktacular

Venue: Waterside Arts, Waterside Plaza, Sale, M33 7ZF
Tickets: £8 Adults £6 Concessions – Book Here
Date: 26th October 2019
Time: 18:30 (2hrs inc. interval)

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Starting Improv Classes

Ever wanted to take an improv workshop with ComedySportz but nervous about taking your first steps? Worry that you’re not funny or creative enough? Starting improv classes can be daunting but don’t worry, our workshops are fun, friendly and supportive! Here are some tips for taking beginners improv workshops…

improvisation workshop

Don’t Try To Be Funny!

We make jokes when we’re nervous and uncomfortable and it is quite tempting to try and make jokes instead of engaging with a scene and just trusting that what happens will be funny. Or maybe it won’t; just because we’re called ComedySportz that doesn’t mean every scene you improvise has to be full of laughter! Trust that the funny will come and try to stay in the moment.

Bring A Brick …Not A House

The two most important words in Improv are “Yes, And”, accepting the reality of an idea and then adding something new.

Sometimes we’ll hear people say “I could never do that, I’m not imaginative/funny enough!” This is often because people are afraid of the pressure of having to create everything from scratch and are worried they would have to do all the work! In truth, when we improvise we are mostly reacting instead of creating. By remaining in the moment and just having an honest response to what is happening.

Don’t feel like you have to bring all the ideas at once, it’s a collaborative experience where everyone’s ideas are played with. When you come into a scene, bring a “brick” and build the house together – it’s a lot more fun that way!

Give 100% Commitment

Sometimes, in Improv, things get weird. Scenes might take unexpected turns and tangents, characters might say or do things you weren’t expecting. This can get confusing – especially when you’re trying to figure out the “rules” of improvisation/how to play a game. But if you give a 100% commitment to an idea or exercise, no matter how strange, you’ll be able to relax, enjoy the scene and take in any instructions. Games might seem a little strange – but there is always a point to playing them, even if that point is just to make us feel comfortable acting a bit silly.

“Failure” Is Just Learning

When people hold back at a workshop it is often because they are too concerned with getting things right or trying not to make themselves look silly. However, as above, if you give 100% commitment to an exercise and “succeed”, fantastic, we’ve all learned something! Likewise, if you give 100% commitment to an exercise and “fail”, fantastic, we’ve all learned something!

Anything that goes “wrong” is just an offer – an opportunity for the scene to go in a new direction or an opportunity to learn something new. Failure isn’t scary, it’s an important part of play – so don’t give yourself a hard time about it!

Starting Improv Classes With ComedySportz

ComedySportz UK has been performing and teaching since 2001. Our workshops have featured in The Stage, Cosmo UK and The Guardian.  If you’re thinking about starting improv classes with us we’re happy to answer any questions you have before signing up. You can sign up here.

All of our classes and workshop leaders are fully accredited by CSzWorldwide, one of the world’s largest comedy performance schools. So, when you take a class with us, you’re not just benefiting from our experience but the knowledge of over 30 ComedySportz teams worldwide!

Already taken some improv classes and would like to take your learning to the next step? Try our Intermediate drop ins.

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Back To School

We hope you’ve had plenty of summer fun and are ready to get back to school… No? Don’t worry we’ve shows to keep you laughing at Waterside Arts… find out more below!

Back to school? Don’t worry, we’ve still got some summer fun lined up!

We’re just about recovered from the Edinburgh Fringe now and had a little time to reflect on what has been an amazing summer of laughter, jokes and comedy shenanigans.

It kicked off with our time at the ComedySportz World Championship where we were honoured to be chosen to  perform in the final against host city Philadelphia!

Just a few days later and we were off to the Edinburgh Fringe to do two shows a day (some of us more) plus guest slots for 17 days! We had a fantastic time with amazing audiences and suggestions plus visiting players from ComedySportz worldwide.

A big thank you, as always, to all the staff at Laughing Horse Free Fringe Festival and the staff at our venues the Pear Tree and The Free Sisters.

You can catch up with all that we got up to over at our instagram.

Our last day at the Edinburgh Fringe! Thanks to the team at The Free Sisters!

…But the fun isn’t quite over as ComedySportz and ComedySportz 4 Tots return to Waterside Arts for some more family friendly fun on Saturday 31st August!

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? We have two teams, one ref, no script and lots of jokes as players fight for your laughs with quick-witted gags, games, sketches and songs. There are penalties for bad behaviour and bad jokes as the referee ensures a good clean match – it’s a family friendly show after all. Who wins? You decide!

ComedySportz 4 Tots is a show for kids aged 6 and under with lots of silly stories, songs and games guaranteed to make you giggle. There are plenty of big laughs for little kids and loads of opportunities for children to get involved in the fun. You can find out more about these and all of our upcoming events on our shows page.

Speaking of back to school, our next batch of workshops starts in September. We’re starting with a special one off Presentation Skills workshop and our new intermediate drop ins on Saturday 28th September. New to Improv? Our Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand Up Comedy courses start a week later on Saturday 5th October and will run for 8 weeks. You can find out more at our workshops pages.

Improv Your Fringe Experience!

This is our 12th year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe so it’s fair to say we’ve picked up a few survival skills along the day. The four core values of ComedySportz are Collaboration, Inspiration, Gratitude and Fun. In this post we’re got to talk about how performers and audiences alike can use those values to make the most of your time at the Fringe!

ComedySportz Edinburgh Fringe

Collaboration

The Fringe is a great time for performers and audiences to meet, laugh and make connections. It’s an opportunity to experiment and try new things. As improvisers we are always on the look out for gifts and offers; opportunities to have fun and find ways to support each other in the improv community. The fringe can be busy, tiring and stressful so it’s important to support each other!

Inspiration

There are thousands of shows to see at the Edinburgh Fringe from names you know and names you don’t!

The core tenet of improvisation is “Yes, And”, the notion that you accept what is being offered to you (in Edinburgh terms this can mean something as simple as taking a flyer from a rain soaked act who hasn’t slept) and then building on it (again, in Edinburgh terms this means coming to a show and having fun). In Improv you’re never sure what is going to happen, you take a risk on something new and find something unexpected and fun! This is a great attitude to take to seeing shows at the festival – The Fringe is the worlds largest all you can eat buffet so don’t just have the chips!

Gratitude

Because there are thousands of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe competing for your time we always say thank you to the audiences that choose to see our shows by putting on the best show we can every time!

We always attend as part of the Free Festival so audiences can see as many shows as they like but anyone who has been to the fringe before knows that free shows ask for donations at the end to help cover costs. We’ll have a few incentives to encourage donations – copies of our new ComedySportz book as well as wearable merch – but there is absolutely no obligation. Just give us a high five and tell someone how much you enjoyed the show …so when they come to see it the next day they can bring money instead.

If you attend a free/pay what you want show and aren’t able to make a donation but really enjoyed the show then consider posting about the show on social media, leaving a good review on the Edinburgh Fringe website or help to spread word of mouth. If you’ve enjoyed one of our matches we’d love to hear from you using the hashtag #CSzED19 and this year’s official fringe hashtag #MakeYourFringe!

Fun

The joy of Improv is getting to play with other people. To start with nothing and end up with a story to tell. The Fringe is an opportunity to do that writ large, to try new things and make new connections on stage and off. It’s our festival. Let’s play!

Other Tips:

  • There are hundreds of great free shows across the city. Paid shows also run cheaper tickets on previews or 2-4-1 days and the half price huts are a great place to snag a bargain.
  • The Fringe can be a loud, intimidating place with big crowds so be sure to look after yourself and find some quiet moments when you can.
  • At ComedySportz we wear nice shoes. In Edinburgh we wear comfortable, sturdy shoes as there is a lot of walking around (and up and down). We always take a couple of pairs.
  • And a coat. The Edinburgh weather can change more frequently than a game of New Choice!

For more fringe insights and stories then check out these interviews with ComedySportz players Vicki and Sean.

We hope to see you at the Edinburgh Fringe this year but don’t worry if you can’t make it as ComedySportz and ComedySportz 4 Tots will be back at Waterside Arts at the end of August.

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ComedySportz World Championships 2019

We had a fantastic time at the ComedySportz World Championship this year! Every year ComedySportz teams from around the World descend on a city for a week of shows and workshops. We’re very proud to say that for the first time ComedySportz Manchester were chosen to play in the Championship final against host city Philadelphia!
Photo by Brainne Edge
We didn’t win but we were absolutely honoured to be nominated by our peers to play in this prestigious show to such a fantastic crowd in the city of brotherly love!

ComedySportz Manchester players also visited ComedySportz teams across the US; Maine, Buffalo, Richmond, New York  and Las Vegas.

This was also a very emotional year as ComedySportz Milwaukee, the team where it all began, celebrated their 35th year and we were honoured to be joined by ComedySportz founder Dick Chudnow.

Every Championship is an opportunity to reinvigorate and remember the four core values of ComedySportz that we bring to everything we do; Collaboration, Inspiration, Gratitude and Fun.
You can find more images from our time at Championship on our social media or search the hashtag #CSzWC2019.
Photo by Katherine Raines
Championship is, above all, an opportunity for ComedySportz players to come together, develop new games and share skills that we can then bring back to our teams and workshops. So when you take a workshop with us you know we are drawing not only from our 18 years of experience but the skills and knowledge of 30 other ComedySportz teams across the globe! You can find out more about all of the ComedySportz teams across the globe by visiting our worldwide page.
We had a fantastic time at Championship but there’s no time to rest as we’re off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! We hope to see you at a show soon…