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.

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.

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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Give the gift of laughter this Christmas!

Looking for a last minute gift for a friend or loved one? You can book a space on one of our 8 week courses commencing 25th January 2020. There are spaces available on both our Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand-Up Comedy classes. Both fun and friendly courses will run Saturdays 12.30-2.30pm for 8 weeks. A workshop with ComedySportz is great alternative gift this Christmas.

Think you might want a go as well? Then read on for a fantastically festive limited-time offer!

gift of laughter this christmas with improv and stand-up workshops

Available Courses

Discover the core tenets and skills of an improviser with our Foundation in Improv course. Great fun for anyone who wants to rediscover their playful side, work on their listening and focus, build confidence in groups or face the unknown with confidence and laughter.

Write and perform your first comedy routine with our Beginning Stand-Up Comedy course. Great for anyone who wants to build confidence before getting on stage or wants to develop and hone their material and comedic voice. Workshoppers receive valuable industry insight and regular feedback on material.

Both courses are great for people who want to make new friends, build confidence or just do something bold, fun and a little different in 2020! All workshops will be held at Thoughtworks, Federation Street, Manchester; a short walk from Shudehill Interchange or Victoria Station. There is also plenty of paid parking nearby as well as street parking for disabled access. The workshops spaces are fully wheelchair accessible.

How To Book As A Gift

Just let us know when making the booking who the booking is for. Please include the recipients 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 pay the full price of the course at time of booking if purchasing as a gift. If the recipient is not able to attend the course you’ve booked them on they can be transferred onto the next course.

We’ve all bought gifts for friends that we secretly wanted for ourselves so if you would also like to book a space for yourself on the same course you can! We’ll even give you back £30 from your total spend on the first day of the workshops if booking with a friend. This is a limited time offer that expires at midnight (GMT) on the 31st December 2019 so don’t delay and book today!

About ComedySportz

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.

All Upcoming Workshops

All Upcoming Shows