LIVE SHOWS RETURN!

With England on course to hit the next stage of the post-lockdown roadmap on May 17th we are extremely hopeful that live shows will return from the end of this month! We are delighted to announce you can now book tickets for ComedySportz and ComedySportz 4 Tots on 29th May 2021 at Waterside Arts, Sale.

comedysportz live shows return to waterside arts

ComedySportz is the all action, all improvised competitive comedy show for all ages you don’t want to miss! Our teams are ready to go for comedy gold with unscripted gags and games inspired by your suggestions. They’ve sharpened their wits and ironed their kits for what promises to be a fantastic return to live shows. Who wins? YOU decide!

We are making some temporary changes to keep shows fun and safe for players and audience alike. You can find out more about some of the changes we’re making in the video below:

We will continue to follow government guidelines as they are updated and may put additional measures in place before the show. The venue will also have their own COVID safety measures in place – you can find out more about these when booking or by contacting box office directly. After booking you will receive an email from Waterside detailing the safety measures in place for the show. In the unfortunate event that our May show is unable to go ahead you will be able to transfer your tickets to future shows or get a refund.

Not ready to return to live shows yet? We’re continuing our online shows on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7pm BST (schedule may change as more venues open up with more live shows returning). Subscribe to our youtube channel today and never miss a show!

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This Is My Improv

If you’ve been watching BBC’s fun new show This Is My House, you might have spotted a familiar face! Dalu joined ComedySportz at the start of 2020 and was about to have his first live show with us when lockdown was announced. Below he reflects on his journey into comedy and shares some of the lessons and advice he has learned over the last two years.

My Journey through comedy has been a great experience within the last 2 years. It initially started with me continually acting like a clown and telling bad jokes at home. My wife having had enough of my poor jokes, decided for Christmas 2019 to get me a place on the Beginning Stand Up course with ComedySportz Manchester.

My tutor was John Cooper a great tutor who gave us insight on the important factors of stand-up both in theory and practical application, it was brilliant meeting new people I still to this day maintain a relationship with. At the end of the course there was a showcase to which we all performed a 5-7 min stand up gig, from there we as a group continued to do stand-up gigs across Manchester and support one another within chasing the dream, which was really nice to do feeling like you’re not alone chasing something, whilst also learning and developing with others.

I have always enjoyed acting from a young age, and for many years left that dream to pursue the corporate ladder, and at 35 the itch returned with full effect. At the time I was taking the stand up course I was also in a play with my church developing acting foundations, skills and experience. And by Spring 2019 I was completely back in love with performance so I requested as a birthday present the Comedysportz Foundation Improv course, which I thoroughly enjoyed as I got to combine the elements of performance I enjoy most, comedy, improv and storytelling.

Comedy Improv has taught me a number of things:

  • Follow your instinct – allow for your natural self to come out.

  • Character development and commitment- focusing on what makes the character unique.

  • Allow your mind to wonder- in adulthood we are taught to constrict thoughts, ideas and dreams. Improv allows you to completely do the opposite of that. It helped me embrace my inner child again 😊

For those who are not sure improv is for them I would say, ‘what have you got to lose’? The course is 6 weeks of fun, frolics and a great chance to make a good bunch of friends with similar interests.

The improv course helped in all aspects of my life; in my day job, in my presentation and communication skills, in team working and developing ideas outside the box. For 6 weeks of fun in a safe workshop environment it certainly will help anyone in need of a confidence booster.

As a performer it really helped me refresh, refine and learn so much more about delivery, timing, engagement with audiences and thinking on the spot. Without ComedySportz Manchester, and of course my wife, I wouldn’t have been complete in the last year.

Whilst everyone’s journey is different these skills have allowed me to pursue my dream career. So far I have said “Yes, And” to:

  • 5 paid web infomercials/commercials.

  • 2 Voice over roles

  • Over 100 online shows – as a member of ComedySportz now

  • Two episodes of BBC One’s new game show This Is My House (where the casting criteria was specifically for ‘Improv Actors’)

  • I’m plotting to write a sitcom, with another new friend I met via ComedySportz courses.

Whatever your reasons for taking an Improv course, do it – it might just change your life!


Inspired by Dalu’s story? We still have a couple of spaces left on our next Online Foundation Improv Course. It’s a great way to build confidence, get creative and make new connections. Whilst we can’t guarantee that everyone who completes the course will get to appear on a prime time BBC One show (we really can’t), we can guarantee lots of fun! And you don’t need a performance background or desire to be on stage or screen, like Dalu says, learning improv skills allows you to develop communication and confidence whatever your background or reason for taking the course. The next course starts Thursday 8th April – book now!

To mark Dalu’s TV appearance we devised a ref challenge inspired by This Is My House. We have online shows every Wednesday and Saturday at 7pm BST. Don’t forget to to subscribe to our youtube channel and never miss a match.

This Is My House airs on BBC One Wednesday’s at 9pm BST. You can catch Dalu’s episodes on BBC iPlayer.

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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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Valentine’s Day Special this Saturday!

Whether you’re single and unable to mingle or loved up and looking for laughs, our will be players your funny Valentines this Saturday. This Valentines Day themed match will see our two teams compete for your affections with improvised gags and games. Good sense of humour a must!

Valentines Day Improv Comedy Show

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? Two teams go for comedy gold in a completely unscripted and totally unpredictable competition of quick-wits inspired by your suggestions.

And a special show deserves a special guest! We’re also delighted to be joined by Jamie Montgomery from CSz Portland, who will be our referee for the evening. As always there is the groaner foul for bad jokes (or cheesy chat up lines) and the brown bag foul for anyone who gets a bit too rude.

Our online shows are free to watch and family friendly. The stream will go live at 6.45pm GMT on Saturday 13th February. The match will kick off at 7pm GMT. Watch live here:

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