Online Comedy Course: Stand-Up Comedy

With COVID-19 putting a halt to face-to-face workshops and shows for the foreseeable future, we’ve been looking at ways to keep going online. We are announcing a 4 week online comedy course starting 20th April 2020!

write and perform great stand-up comedy from your home with this online comedy course

There’s absolutely no experience necessary for you to devise your first Stand-Up set whilst sitting down in the comfort of your own home! This exciting online comedy course will look at ways of crafting gags by exploring joke structure and storytelling techniques to hone your comedic voice.

There will be weekly writing exercises as well as regular, friendly feedback on your material and performance. The course is ideal for anyone self-isolating at home and wanting to try their hand at something new.

The classes are limited to just 8 spaces so don’t delay and book today! The full cost of the course is just £75*. We work hard to keep workshops as affordable as possible but don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need to set-up an alternative payment plan.

Group sessions will run Monday evenings 7-8pm with one-to-one feedback on Wednesdays.  Visit our Stand-Up Comedy page to book onto this dynamic new online comedy course today.

If you have any questions about our Beginning Stand-Up Comedy course please don’t hesitate to get in touchOur classes are fully accredited by CSz Worldwide, one of the world’s largest comedy performance schools.

Spring Intensives – Improv, Stand-Up and Sketch

We’re delighted to announce a programme of short courses in March-April 2020 including Foundation Improv, Beginning Stand-Up Comedy and Sketch Writing. These short intensive courses cover all the content of our longer workshops but are ideal for those unable to commit to an 8 week course.

These workshops are split over two Saturdays with both sessions running 12.30-5pm. Each course costs just £75 (inc. £30 non-refundable deposit). Full details can be found at the links below.

ComedySportz workshops are fun, friendly and affordable. Learn new skills, meet new people and rediscover your playful side. There’s no experience necessary for any of these short courses. ComedySportz Manchester is part of CSz Worldwide, one of the world’s largest comedy schools. Not sure which course is right for you? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

Workshops in improv, stand-up and sketch

Upcoming Short Courses

Sketch Writing [POSTPONED]

Explore ways of developing sketches for stages, screen and audio. From the perfect premise to the killer punchline this intensive course will look at ways of making the most of your comedic ideas.

Beginning Stand-Up Comedy [POSTPONED]

Hone your comedic voice and write your first 5 minute set. Great for anyone looking to take their first steps into the world of Stand-Up or build confidence in public speaking.

Foundation Improv 25th April-2nd May 2020

Learn the core skills of Improvisation with this intensive course. Great for anyone looking to develop listening and communication skills or get more confident going off-script. Book Here.

 

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New Year, New Games, New Workshops, New Shows!

Just a few days into 2020 and we already have plenty lined up for the coming months! We’ve got a full slate of workshops and shows that you won’t want to miss.

Improv Comedy Female Comics

We’re back at Waterside Arts in Sale on Saturday 18th January with two great shows. There will be plenty of laughter for all ages. ComedySportz 4 Tots (3pm, £5/£3) is our show for kids aged 6 and under. There will be plenty of games, gigles, silly songs and stories, with plenty of opportunities for kids to get involved in this highly interactive show. Then we have our New Year, New Games ComedySportz Special (6.30pm, £8/£6) with plenty of never before seen games – who knows, we might even make something up on the night… Have our teams gone for comedy gold? Book now to decide who wins!

Take a course with us!

ComedySportz Workshop Dates January 2020

If you’re looking to try your hand at comedy then we have a fantastic programme of workshops coming up. We still have space on our 8 week Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand-Up Comedy courses. If you’re looking to start the year by embracing uncertainty, finding your voice and rediscovering your playful side might we recommend a comedy course with us? We also have our returning Advanced Improv Drop-Ins (more classes to be announced soon) and our one day Presentation Skills workshop. If you have a public speaking engagement this year, whether its a business presentation or wedding speech, you won’t want to miss this workshop.

Presentation Skills Confident Public Speaking Manchester

…And Much More Still To Come!

For 2020 we’ve taken the decision to rest Improv Mullet at The Kings Arms. We’re hoping to tour ComedySportz and gig more outside of Manchester as the year goes on.

We do however have a brand new show coming to the Peer Hat in March! From suggestion to sensation our players will compose a brand new musical from your suggestions – hitting all the right notes in any order they like! If you like musicals, this is the show for you. If you like comedy, this is also the show for you… More details coming soon.

Improvised Musical Manchester

Never miss an update on our upcoming shows and sign up to our mailing list today. Got questions about our shows and workshops or interested in hiring ComedySportz for your theatre, school or business then get in touch today!

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Is A Comedy Course Right For Me?

Hi, Sean from ComedySportz here! I’m the person who responds to most of the emails that come to us regarding workshops with ComedySportz and I wanted to share the answers to some frequently asked questions about taking a comedy course with us.

If you’re thinking about taking an improv comedy course or workshops in stand-up comedy I hope these answers will give you the confidence you need to book a space today – but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like more information!

What courses do you run?

We currently run two regular 8 week courses; Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand-Up Comedy. These courses run Saturdays for 8 weeks plus a showcase/jam for workshoppers. We also run shorter courses (including Longform Improv, Musical Improv, Presentation Skills and Sketch Writing) and regular advanced Improv Drop-Ins.

Who are you guys?

We’ve been entertaining audiences across the UK, USA and Europe since 2001 and host Manchester’s longest running improv comedy courses. Our facilitators are all professional comedians and improvisers and are fully accredited by CSzWorldwide, one of the world’s largest comedy schools. Our workshops have appeared in The Stage, Cosmo UK and The Guardian Online. As well as their own wealth of personal experience many of our workshop facilitators have also trained with the likes of iO, Second City and Keith Johnstone.

Oh, so you know your stuff then?

Yep. And we’re really nice too.

What happens on the Foundation in Improv course?

Over the 8 weeks we will cover the core skills of an improviser. Starting with “Yes, And” we explore listening and focus, creating characters, storytelling and object work. Each session builds on the last to create a tool belt of useful skills. Exercises have a big focus on group work and play. As the weeks progress we introduce you to scene work and improv games. You will receive active feedback and coaching that is constructive and encouraging. Above all, you’ll have a lot of fun and laughter.

What happens on the Beginning Stand-Up comedy course?

Over the 8 weeks, participants look at different aspects of stand-up performance. We take a look at the use of persona, point of view, attitude, performance techniques, and a multitude of different writing exercises. You will receive regular, constructive feedback on your material and delivery. We also make time to talk shop about how the industry works and how to continue either as a hobbyist or as someone who wishes to pursue comedy more professionally. The workshops finish with a showcase where all the participants are asked to present a 5-7 minute set.

Stand Up Workshops

I’m not very funny or imaginative, is that going to be a problem?

This is the most frequently asked question we receive and the answer might surprise you. We can’t teach you to be funny …because you already are!

The first thing to know is that you’re not alone – everyone is going to feel self-conscious on the first day of a comedy course. No one is expecting you to be super confident and capable on the first day of the course – that’s why we’re here!

For those taking Stand-Up we will share a number of writing exercises to help you craft material and shape your jokes. Workshops are a safe and supportive environment to try new things and explore different perspectives. Let us guide you to find the confidence of voice and character to share your comedic skill.

Meanwhile, the best improvisers aren’t worrying about being the most imaginative or the funniest, they’re simply giving 100% commitment and focus to the moment and then reacting accordingly. If you’re trying to be funny this often means you’re in your head and not just enjoying and reacting honestly to the scene.

So, take the pressure off yourself and you’ll be surprised by how naturally funny and imaginative you can be!

Okay, that’s good to know. So which comedy course is right for me?

Unfortunately we can’t answer this one for you but hopefully we can help you make the decision that is right for you. It depends on what you want out of the course and chances are your gut is already pulling you in the right direction.

It’s important to remember that not everyone that takes a course wants to be a performer. For some classes are an opportunity to play and meet new people or to build confidence in a specific area (public speaking, networking, communication). We are always happy to discuss how skills can be applied to life both on- and off-stage.

The ability to adapt and improvise to situations is increasingly useful in both the performing and business worlds. Workshops can help build the resilience to face difficult situations with an open and enthusiastic mindset.

Although both Improv and Stand-Up courses run at the same time, we run the courses several times a year so you can always take one now and the other later! Some people take the Improv course to build confidence and then take the Stand-Up course because they now feel ready to get up in front of people. Others might take the Stand-Up course first and then take improv to make them feel more confident ad-libbing or going “off script”.

I’m going to miss a week of the course, is that a problem?

We’ll always work hard to catch you up if you miss a week – just let us know if you’re unable to attend. If you end up missing a large chunk of the course due to unforeseen circumstances we are often able to transfer you to the next course if we feel this will give you a better experience. We do have a cut-off point for joining a course (no later than the second week) as you will have missed core groundwork and group bonding.

Can I go straight to the Advanced Improv Drop-In?

Our drop-ins are designed for people who have done some improv training before, whether an 8 week or intensive course with us or elsewhere. If you’ve not done any Improv for a while you might want to consider taking our Foundation Course to ease back into it.

We always suggest you be honest with yourself as to where you feel you are on your improv journey. This is as much for your benefit as it is for others in the session.

Is the workshop space wheelchair accessible?

Our workshop spaces are fully wheelchair accessible. Feel free to drop us an email if there is anything you think we need to know to best assist you before a course starts.

I’m not sure I want to commit to an 8 week comedy course. Can I just take the first class and go from there?

As spaces on workshops are limited we ask people to commit to the full length of the course. You could be taking a space from someone who really wanted to do it! We are always happy to discuss any anxieties you might have about the course and work hard to make classes fun, friendly and supportive.

We do understand however that 8 weeks can be a big commitment so run shorter 2-Day comedy courses during the summer. These short courses cover the core skills in a much more condensed space of time. We update our workshops pages regularly with new dates. You can also sign up to our mailing list to receive monthly news about upcoming classes.

ComedySportz Comedy Courses Fun and Friendly!

Money is a little tight at the moment, do I have to pay all at once?

You can secure a space on a comedy course by paying a non-refundable £30 deposit. The remainder is due on the first day of the course. However, we do understand that circumstances can change so can make arrangements to pay in instalments if necessary.

Can I book a course as a gift?

Absolutely! There is no better gift than laughter with friends and loved ones. Just let us know when making the booking that this is for someone else. Please include the recipient’s name and contact details so we can contact them with information about the course. Let us know if you need us to contact them after a specific date so we don’t spoil the surprise. We can also email you a gift certificate and info sheet to present on the day.

You must make payments for gifts at the full price of the course. If the recipient is not able to attend the course dates they can be transferred onto the next course.

Book a course for a friend or loved one, huh? Can I book a comedy course for someone I hate?

Sure, but they’ll have a great time so we’re not sure what you’re hoping to achieve.

I mean, you would say that. What do other people who have taken courses think?

Here is just a sample of the feedback we’ve received on our courses. You can find more on our workshops page.

“Signing up to do the Improv course, then actually turning up and completing it was a challenge for me as it was definitely something out of my comfort zone. I hugely enjoyed it and that was partly because of the great group of fellow Improvers, but also the great tutors. [They] were very good at giving feedback in a positive way and pushing us to improve without ever making us feel rubbish, whatever our skill level!” Marie Rolli (Doctor)

“I can’t recommend ComedySportz Manchester enough. I’ve just done an 8 week standup course with them and it was fun, inspirational, challenging and very very worthwhile. I can’t wait to do the improv and further comedy writing courses with them.” Vicky Green

“Improv is genuinely the MOST fun you can have on a Saturday afternoon….. learning the basics of impro at a relaxed pace, with fun teachers. It’s a treat… games, scenes, stories, characters, and lots and lots of laughing…it’s the antidote to a boring/routine life. Get out of the house and into the class!” Claire Westood (Wellness and Coach Trainer)


I hope this has given you a little confidence to book a comedy course with ComedySportz. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have over email. Alternatively, you can speak to us in person after one of our shows – we’re always happy to help!

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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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