11 years at Waterside Arts!

We’re celebrating our 11th year at Waterside Arts this month! Thanks to all the staff and audiences who have made the last 11 years so much fun.

The Waterside is a fantastic venue that has allowed us to develop new shows (ah, the short lived Wrong! The Musical) and supported us as we’ve grown our audience and we’d like to give a very special thank you to all the team there!

Special thanks also to the audiences that have come to watch shows or attended workshops over the last eleven years!

Be sure to book your tickets for our shows on June 15th (especially as our next ones won’t be until late August!)

ComedySportz

Never seen a ComedySportz show before? Two teams compete for your laughs with quick-witted gags, games, sketches and songs inspired by your suggestions with a referee on hand to ensure a good clean match – it’s a family friendly show after all! Who wins? You decide!

Show starts 6.30pm. Tickets are available here or via venue box office. Fees may apply if booking online.

ComedySportz 4 Tots

ComedySportz 4 Tots is jam-packed with silly songs, stories and games guaranteed to make you giggle! There are plenty of opportunities for children and adults alike to get involved in the action with plenty of BIG laughs for little kids.

Show starts 3pm. Tickets are available here or via venue box office. Fees may apply if booking online.

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Star Wars Lessons For Improv

This May 4th we thought we’d share some Star Wars themed Improv insights that can be employed on stage and in workshops… and they’re pretty good for everyday life and communication as well!

Star Wars Improv ComedySportz

MAKE GOOD EYE CONTACT (THE FORCE AWAKENS)

Poe Dameron clearly understood the value of eye contact in this scene during Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s just a shame that his scene partner Kylo Ren didn’t join him, leading to this unfortunate moment between the two of them.  Eye contact is an important aspect of communication, especially when initiating a scene.

AVOID QUESTIONS (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)

If you keep asking questions you don’t have to come up with any answers. This can often result in scene’s grinding to a halt or your scene partner having to do a lot of the hard work. It’s a trap(!) that is easy to fall in too, especially if you’re worried about making a “bad” choice for a scene. However, making clear statements moves scenes along and allows relationships to grow.

That’s not to say all questions are inherently bad, especially if they can reveal something interesting about a character’s thoughts and feelings (or if you’re playing the game “Questions Only”) but if you find your scenes don’t go anywhere think about how many decisions you were – or weren’t! – making.

KEEP FOCUSED (THE PHANTOM MENACE)

Yeah, we know a lot of people didn’t like this scene from the Star Wars: Phantom Menace but Qui-Gon is right here. It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings during your scenes and games; did you just walk through that meticulously mimed landspeeder? Is your scene partner playing a Wookiee or a Kowakian monkey-lizard? Is this a moon or is it a space station?

You never know when you might find a gift or offer for a scene and the improvisers who look slickest are the ones who are completely committed to the here and now, reacting in the moment to actions on – and sometimes off – stage.

Likewise, try not to get stuck in your own head (or an “excessive amount of thinking” as C-3PO might put it) and avoid planning. As Yoda also tells us, “impossible to see, the future is.”

COMMIT TO YOUR PUNS (ATTACK OF THE CLONES)

DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL (THE LAST JEDI)

We’re afraid of messing up and feeling embarrassed but if you did something and fully committed to your scene, game or exercise it doesn’t matter if you “failed” at it. Similarly to when Yoda tells Luke, “Do, or do not, there is no try”, we hope you feel encouraged to commit to an idea instead of holding back because of a negative fear of messing up.

You can learn from failure without having to be embarrassed by it – in workshops it’s a shared moment for growth and development, in performance it’s an opportunity to play with something new and unexpected. Failure can be fun too!

THE FORCE IS WITH YOU (ROGUE ONE)

And by force we mean scene partners. Working together as a team and looking out for your scene partner’s means you can walk out on stage knowing that everyone has your back.


Want to know more about the ways of the force? Err, we mean, Improv? Check out our workshops page for all the latest on upcoming classes and courses.

Looking for some laughs this May The Fourth? Check out Improv Mullet tonight at The Kings Arms, Salford. Totally unscripted, totally unpredictable comedy for under a fiver!


From all at ComedySportz UK, May The Fourth Be With You!

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International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 we wanted to take a moment to highlight all of the very funny women in ComedySportz Manchester! Below you’ll find some of our player’s favourite photos and a little about themselves and their time with ComedySportz.

We’re extremely proud to have had so many talented women be part of our roster throughout the years, delighting audiences around the world, inspiring young people of all genders to take to the stage, and putting an end to those tired old “women aren’t funny though” arguments.

ComedySportz UK was founded in 2001 by Bron Edge and we’ve been going strong ever since…

Bron Edge

International Women's Day Improv
Bron reffing a ComedySportz Match at the ComedySportz World Championships!

I’m so proud of our strong and funny women who are part of ComedySportz Manchester.  I learn with them and from them every week. We often get comments from some of the young girls who come and watch ComedySportz in Sale, about how funny all our women are, and I hope we inspire them to go forward and do whatever they want to do (as we do for each other). Out of the three people that effectively run ComedySportz these days, two of them are women, that’s a pretty sweet ratio. 😀

Rachel Wareing

International Women's Day Improv
Performing as part of the Women in Comedy Festival at The Frog and Bucket!

I enjoy sharing…so hearing an audience laugh or when the penny drops with a workshop attendee, it fills me up with so much joy.

In CSz we are a family, there’s so many different dynamics but all with the same goal, to laugh. To make someone smile. To take people away from stressful life.

We are inclusive, we represent that in the women we have in our group.
We have strong female role models to show the younger generation that everyone can be funny and everyone should be included.

Kate McCabe

International Women's Day Improv
Inspiring future funny females at our Halloween Special.

I love performing and teaching comedy SO much. Improv comedy helps me to stay playful and positive and is real life magic.

Working with CSZ has been an amazing gateway to meeting amazing and funny women from all over the world. When you feel like the problem of representation of women in comedy is too real, it’s a salve to get to take the stage with these gals.

Happy International Women’s Day everyone!

Carly Tarett

International Women's Day Improv
Carly Tarett.

Maggie Nolan

International Women's Day Improv
Backstage at Waterside Arts! (sorry about the mess)

I have been a part of Csz for coming up to 5 years and I love it because I get to say I am in a team. I never got picked for teams at school because I ran the other way when a ball came at me and I was frightened of hockey sticks.

Vicki Mitchem

International Women's Day Improv
Vicki raising the Manchester flag high at ComedySportz World Championship in San Jose! #sassy

 

Laura Brook-Smith

International Women's Day Improv
ComedySportz played an all-female team at the ComedySportz World Championships last year!

There’ve been loads of great moments over the my two years with CSz. But the whole experience of the show in the photo was very surreal going from a regular customer service job at the time to performing in North Hollywood. Sometimes I have stints of feeling “am I even funny though?”, but the uplifting environment and scale of the event helped me make the most of the bizarre yet extremely fun moment.

Josie Throup

International Women's Day Improv
Josie is one of our latest recruits. See her at a show soon!

I’ve just joined Comedy Sportz and am excited to be part of a female-run team that is full of witty women. I’ve been doing improv for five years, and it’s taught me to do so many things that women aren’t taught to do: to unapologetically take up space on stage and refuse to make myself small, to take on the ‘Professor’ role in a scene and cast another woman as the ‘Astronaut’, to not be afraid to be disgusting and monstrous when the scene needs that.

I also think that Improv is one of the most accessible forms of comedy to women and non binary folks and should be celebrated for that. It breaks the macho mould of a lot of stand up with its focus on team work, support, and fun.

This International Women’s Day may we continue to accept and support people of all genders.


Happy International Women’s Day to all of the very talented women in ComedySportz teams worldwide and female improvisers everywhere!

CSz Worldwide Women Improv

Want to see our players in action? Check out our shows page!

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Want to give Improv a go yourself and maybe one day join the ranks of funny ComedySportz women? Sign up to our upcoming Intensives today!

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March Madness!

Don’t miss our March Madness Match at Waterside Arts this month! This month you don’t just decide which team wins each game… you decide who the teams are and what games they play!

ComedySportz Manchester Improv Family Friendly

That’s right – this month we’re handing you all the power (well, almost, we still have our referee) as we’ll pick two audience volunteers to become team managers. It’ll be their responsibility to pick the teams and give inspirational advice to keep morale high. Our referee will also get you the audience to pick all of the games that are played that night. Who wins? You decide that too!

March Madness Improv Manchester
Our March Madness Match Managers from 2017!

MARCH SHOWS

Mar 16th, 3pm – ComedySportz 4 Tots, Waterside Arts, Sale. More BIG laughs for little kids with plenty of silly songs and stories. Join us for an afternoon of laughter and fun for kids aged 6 and under. £5/3. Book online or via venue box office.

Mar 16th, 6.30pm – ComedySportz, Waterside Arts, Sale. March Madness Match! This totally unpredictable, totally unscripted competitive comedy show just got even more unpredictable and unscripted. Is that even possible? There’s only one way to find out!  £7/5. Book online or via venue box office.

Mar 30th, 6pm – ComedySportz, The Way Theatre, Atherton. Two teams battle it out for your laughs with quick-witted gags, games, sketches and songs. All inspired by your suggestions! £8/5. Book online or via venue box office.

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Intensive Workshops

We are delighted to announce a series of intensive workshops and courses that will run throughout May and June in Improv, Stand Up, Sketch and so much more!

As well as short courses that cover more specialised skills we’ll be starting this season of intensive workshops with two day versions of our Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand Up Comedy courses. These classes are ideal for anyone who has not been able to attend or commit to our longer eight week sessions. Our longer courses will return later in 2019.

You can pay in full now or just pay a small non-refundable deposit (£30 for two Day Intensives, £10 for one day intensives) to secure your space. All courses will run in the theatre spaces of the Kings Arms, Salford.

improv workshops manchester

Two Day Intensive Workshops

Foundation in Improv

4th-5th May 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

Learn the core skills and tenets of improvised performance including: Yes, And, Listening, Character, Objects, Storytelling, scene work, and an introduction to games. No previous performance experience required.

Beginning Stand Up Comedy

4th-5th May 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

Learn the core skills you’ll need to craft your first five minutes of stand up. Covering everything from material generation to mic technique we’ll help you find your comedic voice. No previous performance experience required.

Sketch Writing

18th-19th May 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

This short course will help you develop written sketch material from the perfect premise to the killer punchline. We’ll look at ways to hone and craft your material as well defeating any writers number one enemy – the blank page! No previous experience required.

Longform Improv

1st-2nd June 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

This short introduction to longform improv will explore the depth of storytelling and character development possible through longform improv. This course will introduce you to popular longform formats & scene edits. Some previous experience in performance and/or improvisation is recommended. Attendees will also gain free entry to Improv Mullet our combined shortform and longform show on Saturday 1st June.

Musical Improv

15th-16th June 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £85 for the whole course.

Find the key (geddit?) to unlocking your tuneful side. Covering everything from rhythm to rhyme we’ll introduce you to the core skills to help you improvise songs. We’ll help you find the confidence you need to sing off-script – and it doesn’t matter if you’re off-key either. No previous experience required.

Improv Workshops Manchester

One Day Intensive Workshops

Character Improv

18th May 2019. 12.30-5pm. £45 for the whole course.

Often find yourself on stage just playing… yourself? This short course will explore ways to create characters that are as fun to watch as they are to perform.  Previous performance experience recommended but not required.

Presentation Skills

19th May 2019. 12.30-5pm. £45 for the whole course.

This intensive session will explore ways of using performance to skills to help you develop more effective presentations for business and events. If you’re the kind of person who dreads speaking in front of crowds then this safe, supportive workshop will help you find the confidence you need! No previous experience required.

Stand Up Comedy – Your Next 5 Minutes

1st June 2019. 12.30-5pm. £45 for the whole course.

Is your set stuck in a rut? Whether you’ve previously attended our Beginning Stand Up Comedy course or on the circuit but going in circles, this intensive workout will help you stretch your creative muscles and hone those funny bones.

stand up workshops

Sign Up Today!

Don’t delay and visit our workshops page today to sign up with Manchester’s longest running comedy performance courses. Got questions about any of our workshops or classes – perhaps you’d like to know more about our workshops for schools and businesses? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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