Our Improvised Panto returns this December for more festive fun the whole family can enjoy! There will be heroes, villains, romance and songs aplenty all inspired by your suggestions. There will be plenty of opportunities to join in the fun – oh yes there will – in this highly interactive show full of gags and games… and every villain is going to need a henchman!
Our improvised pantomimes are a loving pastiche of traditional panto tropes and characters and alternative to the same old stories. Players don’t know which character they’re going to be play or what the story is going to be about as our fairy god-referees take suggestions from the audience. We will have live musical accompaniment for this year’s shows as well which is something we’ve wanted for a while!
We’ll be bringing our improvised panto to The Palace in Longridge for the first time this December. It’ll be a night of laughter and mirth as players craft a pantomime adventure with only your suggestions and a sprinkling of fairy dust to guide them. We can’t wait to bring the show to the Palace (eat your heart out Cinderella) next month.
This is our third year of doing the pantomimes and they’ve been a sell-out success at Waterside Arts in previous years. We’re delighted to be back this year with four more shows so be sure to book your tickets now!
Finally, we’ll also be performing an Adults Only version of the Improvised Pantomime on Saturday 7th December at The Kings Arms, Salford. This will replace our regular Improv Mullet Show. The show will start at 7.30pm!
These are currently our last booked in shows for 2019 so you won’t want to miss them! We’ll then return in January with new workshops and our New Year, New Games special at Waterside Arts!
We don’t know if we’ve mentioned it much lately but we turn 18 years old this month! That means that ComedySportz UK is now legally old enough to drink alcohol, get a tattoo and buy fireworks. You’ll have to come along to the show at Chorley Little Theatre to find out which of those we get up to in the bar afterwards!
Every Birthday show is also an opportunity for us to enjoy some great memories and laughter! Below, some of our players look back at moments that have stayed with us from the last 18 years…
So Many Memories!
John: A few weeks ago at Waterside Arts, a dad pointed me out to his kids and said: “It’s Armitage shanks” – a character I’d played in last years panto. It’s great to have so many loyal fans! Those moments are really special.
Lukas: Yeah! One of my favourite memories is watching an audience volunteer make Darryl repeatedly slap himself in the face during a game of Moving Bodies. Like John said, it’s great to have so many loyal fans! Those moments are really special – especially when they happen to someone else…
Rachel: Kate and Tommo (original Chorley players) racing each other at skydiving in a game of Forward Reverse… That went on for 8 minutes. It was our first match and we didn’t realise maybe games shouldn’t always go on that long!
Darryl: This is from the early days at Chorley. I can’t remember the exact context but I was a sniper and I asked Steven how he knew about a certain characteristic of the person we were targeting. His response was I can see his passport! The target turned out to be a guerilla. Harambe hadn’t been killed yet so you could still make jokes about that sort of thing.
Sean: I love seeing people flourish and come out of themselves during our workshops. There have been so many great moments during workshops and players practice that no audience ever gets to see. It’s fun to perform with friends.
Bron: We do enjoy a good post match curry. There are quite a few of us in the troupe and once about 20 of us went for a meal. Marcus ordered a starter. No one else did, which meant we all had to wait for our main course. Some of us had had a full day of workshops before the show and no time to eat… Several players died from hunger.
Laura: I loved it when Erin from CSz Twin Cities came to visit and performed with us because it was my first look into the “ComedySportz extended universe” and I realised just how big the CSz Worldwide family really is! It’s been great playing with improvisers from all over the world!
Marcus: It was my first show at the Comedy Store and to choose which team went first the referee got members of the audience to draw a moustache on me and Ash. It was a special show raising money for Movember. The child who was chosen to draw a red moustache on my face with a felt tip pen literally tattooed a red goatee beard to my face… I was not sure where the red ink stopped and my crimson blood began. That evening I found out why that particular brand of pen is called Sharpie.
Sean: That’s what you get for ordering a starter when no one else does.
Marcus: I did actually ask for my starter to be sent out with the mains. So I could have a chicken pakora/lamb madras hybrid. It’s not my fault!
Bron: We’ve learned a lot over the years and performed in some fantastic- and not so fantastic places. It’s been great to see audiences grow especially at the Edinburgh Fringe where that audience has included Prince Edward and his family. We were told we were going to have a special visitor but not who it was going to be. We were busy preparing for the show so didn’t know they’d effectively shut down Cowgate so the prince and his family could get to the venue. It was a very surreal experience.
Rob: Starting ComedySportz 4 Tots has been a real highlight for me. Lots of fun and madness every month. Grateful for the opportunity to get very little uns watching our comedy and introducing improv to really young kids who are so imaginative makes the show so much fun to perform!
Kate: It was great to see Manchester play the ComedySportz World Championship final in Philadelphia this year! Finally the UK has been recognised as a world power. It definitely made up for that time Marcus ordered a starter when no one else did.
Marcus: It was… It was six years ago.
Want To Know More?
You can read more about the last 18 years of improvised adventures on our updated History page! If you have memories of shows or workshops that you’d like to share with us you can find us on social media or drop us an email! If you would like to find out about all of the exciting things we have planned for the next 18 years then never miss an update and sign up to our monthly mailing list!
Somehow got this far and still not seen a ComedySportz show? Check our calendar for upcoming shows. Want to take an improv journey of your own? Why not sign up to one of our workshops or classes starting early 2020!
In 2001 ComedySportz UK started with just two teams, one ref, no script and some jokes! Not much has changed since then (our except our player’s kits) and we’re delighted to be returning to the venue where it all began – Chorley Little Theatre – to celebrate 18 years of fun and laughter on Saturday, 16th of November!
It’s hard to believe since those humble beginnings that we’re still here 18 years later and have performed and taught all over the world! Our journey started when Bron (centre, pic above) came back from America to run the youth theatre at Chorley Little Theatre. She had fallen in love the show in America and asked if we could do a one off show for charity. Players and audience members love it and we’ve been putting the world into CSz Worldwide ever since!
Our birthday shows are always a highlight of our year and great fun for all ages. As always our birthday show will be a Chorley vs. Manchester match with players who have been with us since the beginning versus newer players. ComedySportz UK is now also legally old enough to drink so you’ll be able to find us in the bar after!
We’ll be playing plenty of audience favourite games including ‘Object Tag!’ so be prepared to bring some really imaginative objects to see if we use them in our game! In previous years people have given us everything from a spare tyre to a microwave from which to craft quick-witted jokes and gags.
Video Highlights From Previous Birthday Shows at Chorley Little Theatre!
If you can’t make it to Chorley you can also catch us at Waterside Arts (also on the 16th) as well as ComedySportz 4 Tots. Be sure to follow us on social media as we share memories from the last 18 years and we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate this very special birthday weekend!
These dates are also currently our last regular ComedySportz shows of 2019 as December will see the return of our our Improvised Pantomimes – book your tickets now!
ComedySportz 18th Birthday Show
Venue: Chorley Little Theatre Tickets: £8 Adults £5 Concessions – Book Here Date: 16th November 2019 Time: 19:30 (2hrs inc. interval)
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.
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)
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…
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.