ComedySportz Lockdown Update July 2020

The world may slowly be re-opening but theatres and venues remain closed to performances. We have started making tentative plans for after the summer but even if we do get to the point where we can perform live again we need to do so responsibly – safety for our players and audience members should always come first. Until then the show will still go online.

Watch online comedy and learn improv and stand up with ComedySportz

WORKSHOPS

We will continue to provide Digital Drop-Ins throughout July. We have recently conducted feedback on our classes and have been delighted with the response. We’ve taken on your feedback and will be filling the next few weeks with the content you’ve asked for – the schedule will go live later this week.

We’re also delighted to announce that we are finally ready to deliver an online Foundation Improv course! This fun and friendly six week course will commence Thursday 23rd July 2020 and we can’t wait! Whether you’re looking to start performing improv comedy, want to improve your listening and communication skills or just want to meet new people in a fun and friendly online environment then this course is for you. Adapted from our regular courses and tailored to online training, these Foundation Improv online workshops will help you learn new skills that can applied on stage and off.

Also, we’re running another of our increasingly popular online Stand-Up Comedy courses commencing Monday 13th July 2020. This exciting online comedy course will look at ways of crafting great gags, exploring joke structure, and developing storytelling techniques to hone your comedic voice. There will be weekly writing exercises as well as regular, friendly feedback on your material and performance. This course is ideal for anyone stuck at home looking for laughs and wanting to try their hand at something new.

SHOWS

With more people returning to work and more opportunities to get out of the house we are resting our Friday Fun Time Lunch Time shows for July. However we will still be doing our Witty Wednesday and Super Saturday shows every week at 7pm BST. For a full schedule visit our shows page.

This week players would have been making their way to ComedySportz World Championship in Houston, Texas. We’re excited however that there will now be an online championship and we’ll have more details soon!

Beyond July we have some very exciting events lined up. 2020 would have been our biggest Edinburgh Fringe yet and we’re delighted to be teaming up again with Laughing Horse for their online festival in August. Full dates will be online soon.

If you’re reading this and looking for family friendly entertainment for your online festival please don’t hesitate to get in touch today!

VIDEOS

We have a brand new video page on the website with a few favourite clips and even full shows from our rewatch series. Perfect if you’d like a reminder of what things used to be like when we could all laugh in the same room together!

THANK YOU

We’ve been immensely proud of how our players have responded to the ongoing situation and incredibly grateful for your continued support during this time. We’re committed to keeping our online shows free but have been very grateful for your donations so far.

Recently, we asked you to give those donations instead to Black Lives Matter, The Proud Trust and Rainbow Noir as well as making contributions ourselves.  We’re making plans for more shows supporting charitable causes in the coming weeks and months. We already have some in mind but please get in touch if you know of organisations you think we can bring some awareness to and hopefully raise a little money for.

 

We hope it’s not too long until we can all be together again but until then stay safe and keep on laughing!

Improv Mullet Returns to Ruskins!

UPDATE: Sadly this event has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19. We’re hoping to reschedule this event with Mint Comedy and be back in Kendal as soon as we can!

We’re bringing Improv Mullet back to Ruskins Bar in Kendal in April! We are returning after a fantastically funny night in February for more all action improv comedy. These shows are hosted by the fantastic Mint Comedy who have been delivering stellar line-ups!

Improv Comedy Funny Shows

Why Improv Mullet? Because its a mixed short and longform comedy show. There will be quick-witted gags and games in the first half and longer improvised sketches and scenes in the second. Our top improvisers will make like MacGyver to craft comedy from nothing but your suggestions.

Be sure to join us for some late night laughs in the lakes next month: You’d be an April’s fool to miss it!

Improv Mullet @ Ruskins Bar, Kendal | 2nd April 2020 | Show Starts 8pm | £5 Buy tickets via venue or Mint Comedy Facebook Page.

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Improv Mullet at Ruskins Bar, Kendal

Improv Mullet is coming to Ruskins Bar in Kendal on the 6th February 2020! Join us for a night of unscripted, unpredictable comedy with plenty of laughs guaranteed.

Improv Comedy Comes To Kendal

Why Improv Mullet? Because its a mixed short and longform comedy show with quick-witted gags and games in the first half, and longer improvised sketches and scenes in the second. Our top improvisers will make like MacGyver to craft comedy from nothing but your suggestions.

The show starts at 8pm and costs just £5 with tickets available on the door.  This is a show for ages 18+. Ruskins Bar is home to some of the best late night laughs in Kendal and we can’t wait to bring Improv Mullet there next month!

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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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ComedySportz 18th Birthday Show!

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!

18 years later and the ref still can’t control the players shenanigans!

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)

 

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