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.

All Upcoming Shows

All Upcoming Workshops

ComedySportz @ Edinburgh Fringe 2019

As today is World Fringe Day we thought it would be a good time to post about where you can catch ComedySportz at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019! This is our 12th year at the fringe and yet again we’re taking part in the Free Festival because we believe audiences – and families in particular – should be able to see as many shows as they like without having to sell a kidney or two to afford all the tickets. Although donations are always gratefully received – of money that is, not kidneys.

We’re also delighted to once again be performing two shows a day due to popular demand – our Edinburgh shows get very busy so be sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment!

We’ll also be joined by ComedySportz players from teams all across America to make this a truly international festival.

Players will also be appearing in a number of shows from stand up to theatre to more improv and we’ve listed them below. You’ll be able to follow our adventures on social media using the hashtag #CSzED19 and let us know if you’re coming along to a show – we always love to hear from our audiences!

ComedySportz Edinburgh Fringe

ComedySportz @ The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Pear Tree – Main Room (Venue 257) 12.20pm

The Free Sisters – Maggie’s Chamber (Venue 272) 4.30pm

This is a free non-ticketed show so there is no need to book, however you can find us on the Fringe guide here and we advise getting there early to guarantee a seat! Shows run 1 hour.

Other shows featuring ComedySportz players:

(Please note not all of these shows are family friendly!)

Crime of The Hour

This improvised show is definitely for adults only as the content is likely to be very dark – as improvised sketches and scenes will be inspired by true crimes!

Pottervision

Don’t miss this exciting work in progress sequel to the hit wizarding world parody show.

Sh*t Socialist

This solo hour of stand up explores Chris’ life of being a socialist activist. Well, we say activist, that depends on what time he gets up.

Sitcom Stories

Short plays inspired by characters from and the creators behind classic sitcoms. Applied too late for the guide – keep an eye on our twitter for details.

Tom Short’s Wheel of Misfortune

You won’t see another hour like this at the Fringe. Family friendly clowning, games going wrong and shambolic stand up – in the best possible way!

We Apologise For The Inconvenience

A play about Douglas Adams, deadlines and rubber ducks. Fans of Adams’ quirky and witty writing won’t want to miss this.

Guest Appearances:

We are excited to once again be joining our friends at Comedy Club 4 Kids at the Fringe. It’s a great show that brings you three great family friendly acts every day of the festival – we very much recommend going to see it if you’re looking for something to take the kids to.

You can catch ComedySportz @ Comedy Club 4 Kids on 2nd, 8th and 15th August!

Be sure to make a date to catch ComedySportz when you #MakeYourFringe this year!

(And if you can’t make it to Edinburgh we’ll have Improv Mullet and our regular ComedySportz and ComedySportz 4 Tots shows at Waterside Arts in August as well!)

All Upcoming Shows

All Upcoming Workshops

 

Kids Comedy Workshop at Manchester Literature Festival

We’re delighted to once again be delivering a kids comedy workshop for the Manchester Literature Festival in October! The workshop is a fun introduction to comedy writing and improvisational skills suitable for kids aged 8-11 years.

Kate and Sean will once again be facilitating the workshop at Z Arts in Hulme. They will show kids how to write and perform comedy, using improvisation as a writing tool, and finding comic inspiration from their lives and imaginations.

To avoid cramping your children’s style, we ask parents not to stay in for the workshop. There is a nice café outside the room for adults that want to be close by.  For the last 15 minutes of the workshop, adults will be invited in to watch a mini performance, so the young comics can show what they have been working on.

As this is the Manchester Literature Festival we’ll also have our book available to purchase as well as lots of other lovely bits of merchandise! Our ComedySportz book includes a short introduction to core improv skills as well as some of our favourite games that you can play with friends and family at home. The book is also available to purchase at all ComedySportz shows!

ComedySportz Manchester Book
We wrote a book!

This kids comedy workshop is a ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased here.

Why not make a day of it with the fantastic comic art masterclass with Kev Sutherland (the hands behind hit show Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre) beforehand? Tickets can be purchased here.

And if you think you might get jealous of all the fun the kids are having there are still spaces available on our Foundation in Improv course for adults starting 6th October.

ComedySportz Summer Update and The Year Ahead!

Well, as the dust settles over another busy summer for ComedySportz, we wanted to do a quick round up of our summer and all the shows, workshops and events we’ve got coming up for the rest of the year!

JUNE

Way back in June – it feels like a long time ago to us anyway – a small team of our players took part in the ComedySportz World Championship in Los Angeles. Manchester’s all female team defeated ComedySportz Houston in a hotly contested match of wits and players also reffed the matches between Sacramento, LA, Cincinatti and Austin! Every year the World Championship renews our commitment to the core values of ComedySportz Worldwide: Collaboration, Inspiration, Gratitude and Fun.

Prior to the shows in LA, two of our players drove across the US to play with ComedySportz Boston (only 3 hours off the plane), Richmond, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Quad Cities and St. Louis. It was an epic road trip and they loved getting to play with such dynamic and brilliantly funny people.

Didn’t know ComedySportz was part of a worldwide family of shows? There are over 25 ComedySportz teams across the world, with more set to join the CSz family in the coming year – hello ComedySportz Las Vegas!

The CSz Worldwide network gives us access to some of the best Improv skills and training which we channel into our own workshops and shows.

ComedySportz Manchester World Championship

JULY

In July, CSzUK produced the play Auntie & Me for the Greater Manchester Fringe. This deliciously dark comedy was well-received by audiences and was an absolute delight to once again bring to the stage.

We were also delighted to have players from ComedySportz join ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ legend Tony Slattery for his new show Crimes Against Improv. It was a wild and unpredictable night and it was an absolute honour to play with him.

Tony Slattery

AUGUST

August saw ComedySportz Manchester return to the Edinburgh Fringe for the 11th year, performing two shows a day to fantastic crowds. We loved our time so much that we went back up at the end of the month with ComedySportz 4 Tots!

We’ve posted plenty about that recently but just want to say a big, heart-felt thank you to all of our audiences for your suggestions and laughter, to all of the staff at both of our venues Fireside and The Three Sisters, and Alex and the team at The Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We can’t wait to see you all again in 2019…

Edinburgh Fringe

STILL TO COME

…But 2018 isn’t over yet and we have lots of exciting shows, workshops and events coming up. First up, don’t miss Improv Mullet featuring special guest Nathan Jansen (Baby Wants Candy, iO, ComedySportz Chicago). Improv Mullet is our adults only show that combines short and longform improv comedy with quick gags and games in the first half and a whole improvised play in the second. We’re absolutely thrilled to have Nathan join us for this show and you really don’t want to miss it! As always, anyone with a genuine Mullet gets in for free.

Improv Mullet. 1st September. 7.30pm. £3 on the door. The Kings Arms, Salford.

Nathan will also be joining us for a one day workshop on Narrative Improv on September 1st and we also have a couple of spaces left on our two-day sketch writing workshop this weekend as well.

Speaking of workshops, spaces are really starting to fill up on our 8 week Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand Up Comedy courses commencing 6th October 2018. Whether you’re looking to develop new performance skills, improve communication and listening, build confidence or just want to rediscover play and have a laugh with new people then our workshops are for you! Find out more about all of our upcoming workshops and courses on our workshops page.

improv workshops manchester

We have plenty of upcoming ComedySportz shows at the Waterside in Sale and the fantastic new theatre space The Way in Atherton. If you’re looking for big laughs for really little kids be sure to check out ComedySportz 4 Tots at the Waterside as well! We celebrated 10 years at Waterside earlier this year and are really excited to be collaborating with The Way.

We’ll be celebrating our 17th year with our annual return to Chorley Little Theatre in November. Tickets are available now!

We’re also delighted to be continuing our collaboration with the University of Salford as The New Adelphi Comedy Night returns in September.

Finally, to round out the year our Improvised Pantomime returns to the Waterside. We’re thrilled to be bringing back the show as it proved to be a real hit in 2017.

You can find out about all of our upcoming shows here.

Edinburgh 2018 Highlights

Don’t miss this video with some of the highlights and reviews we received at this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival! As always, we were delighted to be part of the Free Fringe Festival and crowds were an absolute delight. Thanks to the staff and crew at our venues and thanks to all of our audiences – especially our volunteers!

A highlight of our fringe was undoubtedly the musical suggestion of Jamilton that produced a musical about fruit preservatives and American history so wildy inaccurate and wonderfully funny that it went on for 15 minutes and only left the teams time for one more game! Unfortunately we didn’t film it so here are two videos of the teams playing Reunion which quickly became a favourite with players and audiences alike. Singalong if you know the words!

We’re back in Edinburgh 24th-26th with ComedySportz 4 Tots as well as guest slots with our friends at Huggers and Comedy Club 4 Kids.

ComedySportz 4 Tots Family Friendly Edinburgh
An hours free childcare? You don’t want to miss this!

Can’t make it to Edinburgh? Don’t worry, we’re back at the Waterside with ComedySportz and ComedySportz 4 Tots on the 25th August. Tickets are available now! Check out our shows page for more info.