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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Online Comedy Courses New Dates for 2021

We’re delighted to announce new dates for online comedy courses in the new year. We will be running both Foundation Improv and Beginning Stand-Up comedy courses from January 2021.

Courses are a great way to learn new skills, boost confidence and meet new people. Whether you’re a budding comedy performer or someone who just wants to get more confident giving presentations and networking, these courses are great for life on and off stage.

Not sure if a comedy course is right for you? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions. You can also drop us an email – we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about our workshops and courses.

Sign up to an online comedy course today

GIVE THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER

You can also book a space on one of our online comedy courses as a gift for friends and family. Just let us know you’re booking as a gift when signing up for the course and we’ll get in touch to sort out the details. We can also provide gift certificate to present to them over the holidays. So if you know someone who would enjoy one of our comedy courses but just needs a friendly push get in touch today!

ONLINE FOUNDATION IMPROV

Learn the core skills of improvisation in this fun and friendly online course. Sessions will cover “Yes, And”, Listening, Characters, Objects, Games and Storytelling. Build confidence, get creative and rediscover your playful side. No experience necessary.

book now for comedysportz online courses

Book a space on the course here. If you’re booking as a gift please include the information of who the course is for (name, email address). We can also email you a gift certificate to present to them. Not sure if an improv course is right for you? Find out more here.

ONLINE BEGINNING STAND-UP COMEDY

Write and deliver your first stand-up comedy routine with this interactive online course! Develop your comedic voice in a supportive environment with regular feedback. Sessions cover everything from writing gags to landing gigs. No experience necessary.

online stand up comedy course

Book a space on the course here. If you’re booking as a gift please include the information of who the course is for (name, email address). We can also email you a gift certificate to present to them. Not sure if a Stand-Up comedy course is right for you? Find out more here.

IMPROV DROP-INS

In the meantime we’re running a couple more improv drop-ins in December before taking a short winter hiatus. However, we will be running free festive improv jams over the holidays. These jams will be an opportunity to play improv and party games and keep connected over the winter break. Find out more about drop-ins and jams here.

online improv drop-in classes

Our courses and workshop leaders are fully accredited by CSz Worldwide, one of the world’s largest comedy and performance schools.

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Upcoming Online Shows

Improv Double Bill – Tickets On Sale NOW!

UPDATE: Unfortunately Tier 3 restrictions in Manchester mean that Lock 91 is closed for the next few weeks. We hope to book new dates in as soon as possible. In the meantime you can catch our online shows on youtube every Wednesday and Saturday and tickets are on sale now for our 19th Birthday show at Chorley Theatre in November.

We can’t wait to be laughing live again and we hope you can join us. We’ll soon be posting all the ways that we’re adapting shows to ensure an as safe as possible time for everyone.

COMEDYSPORTZ UK

Two teams. One ref. No script. Lots of laughs!

ComedySportz sees teams go for gold with quick-witted gags and games in this all action, all improvised competitive comedy show. There’s a referee on hand to ensure a good clean match with penalties for bad behaviour and bad jokes. Join us for an evening of totally unscripted, utterly unpredictable and absolutely unmissable laughs. Who wins? YOU decide! (Find out more)

“…a non-stop stream of gags, sketches and general hilarity.” Lancashire Evening Post

…real winners are the happy audience… hilariously entertaining.”  Buxton Festival Fringe

ABSOLUTE ONIONS: IMPROV KARAOKE!

Absolute Onions take a Karaoke classic chosen by the audience and perform an improvised narrative that will uncover the surprising real story behind that song! So pour the Prosecco, spin your disco balls and get ready to drop the mic! (Find out more)

“Very Clever!” Number9reviews

The show will start at 7.30pm to ensure finishing before the current 10pm Curfew. If the event needs to be cancelled then tickets will be refunded ASAP. We will be following COVID Secure guidelines to ensure a safe night out.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to their licence Lock 91 is an adults only venue. So, whilst ComedySportz will still be playing it clean, families with children are not able to attend this show.

BOOK TICKETS NOW!

 

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ComedySportz 19th Birthday Show at Chorley Theatre!

2020 may not have been the laugh riot we were all hoping for but there was no way ComedySportz was going to miss our birthday show at Chorley Theatre this November. Join us for a completely unscripted, totally unpredictable and absolutely unmissable night out!

ComedySportz Chorley Theatre Live Comedy

We’re delighted to be returning to the venue where it all began to celebrate 19 years of family friendly fun and laughter on Saturday 21st November.  We hope you can join us for a night of quick-witted comedy and to support a fantastic local venue. The show will be social distanced in a COVID secure venue. So whilst this year our two teams may be going toe to toe from 2 metres it will still be plenty of fun!

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? Two teams go for gold with gags and games guaranteed to get you giggling. There’s a referee on hand to ensure a good clean match with penalties for bad behaviour and bad jokes. ComedySportz matches are totally improvised and with sketches and scenes inspired by your suggestions. Who wins? YOU decide!

Chorley Theatre is the home of great entertainment in the heart of Lancashire. It’s the venue where ComedySportz UK began and we return every year for more all action, all improvised fun for all ages.

Book your tickets now. You can find out about Chorley Theatre’s COVID safety procedures here so you can book with confidence. You can find our more about the history of ComedySportz in the UK here. Watch our full 2018 Birthday show here.

All Upcoming Shows

Performing Stand-Up Comedy At Home

With venues closed, comedians have found new ways to reach audiences with online gigs and gags (and saving hundreds in petrol costs). If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at Stand-Up but don’t know where to begin, why not take our fun and inspiring Beginning Stand-Up course online?

Below, workshop leader and Stand-Up comedian Kate McCabe shares a little of what you can expect when you take our four week virtual course.

learn to do stand-up with comedysportz online

Teaching stand-up comedy over Zoom has been much more satisfying than I, perhaps pessimistically, thought it would be. It was crushing to come to the understanding, several months ago, that live performance was not going to be on the docket for the time being. That feeling, of course, has recently been renewed. So, how does one who performs and teaches stand-up keep up with their craft? Moreover, how can you introduce people to the form when it’s unlikely that there will be any ‘physical’ gigs soon. Well, it turns out…you can’t kill comedy.

Even with the current limitations, that human urge to make people laugh lives on. Many of us have had the urge to ‘take something up’ during this lockdown. Whether that’s learning the piano, paying more attention to your Duolingo, or getting more reading done, it still takes discipline and encouragement. For most of us, that discipline can be introduced via workshops. Happily, there are excellent lessons and exercises we can still cultivate via virtual learning. Zoom is also where, for the foreseeable future, open mics, new material, and professional level gigs are going to take place. (Other software and hosting platforms are, of course, available). At CSzUK, we’ve taken steps to ensure effective and fun remote stand-up teaching.

We offer short, dynamic, and inspiring sessions.

In these sessions, we want people to develop important writing and performance habits to jump-start their creativity. Additionally, we want everyone to have the chance to build confidence and afford them the time to be heard and to receive valuable, constructive feedback.

We made the decision that the workshops would only last an hour to deliver a focused, engaging session that would feel like a pleasure not a chore. Secondly, we’ve limited the number of participants for the four week session. Stand-Up classes have a maximum of 5 attendees so that workshoppers are getting the needed attention during that class time. Thirdly, as a free supplement to the 7pm Monday sessions, we offer short, weekly one-on-one sessions to review the regular writing challenges that the participants are working on. Finally, we will be offering our participants a slot at our LIVE showcase which will be scheduled once live performances are safe to put on the calendar again.

So, four weeks of invigorating, silly, compelling practice for both this zoom-based comedy world and the hopeful beyond… that’s what you get on the course. As well as plenty of laughter!

Our next Stand-Up course commences Monday 13th July and costs just £75. Book here. Whether you’re looking to learn new skills, develop your comedic voice or practice your online presentation skills in a supportive environment, there are plenty of reasons to take a course with CSzUK.

You may also be interested in our 6 week Foundation Improv course.