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.

All Upcoming Workshops

All Upcoming Shows

Presentation Skills Workshop

We’re running a Presentation Skills workshop on Saturday 28th September run by ComedySportz player and Stand-Up comic John Cooper. This one day class will show you how to use the skills of a stand up comic to help deliver engaging, entertaining presentations for your work and business.

This fun and friendly session is perfect for anyone looking to build confidence in public speaking or learn new tricks to help spice up their presentations.

Below you will find a few tips and tricks to get you started!

Use the skills of a stand up comic to deliver entertaining presentations

Make A Connection

Whether you’re talking to ten people or over a hundred, before rolling out pie charts and bar graphs, you must make a connection with your audience. You’re speaking to people, not performing a monologue.

Try sharing a short personal story with a positive outcome in only three sentences; beginning, middle and end. Show your audience that you don’t fear them, and you’re human.

Once More With Feeling

Like a good comic would, approach your presentation topic from as many angles as you can think of. Try finding fresh ways of expressing the subject. Don’t cram too much in. Let your personality come out, it’s not an exam.

Give your brain and mouth room to breathe during rehearsal and delivery. Keep the language simple and natural, the way you would normally speak. Don’t become a mechanical delivery automaton.

Watch A Stand-Up Comic

If you have a favourite comedian, go and watch them live. Observe how they move and speak. Aside from their jokes, great comedians have a pace and rhythm that complements their personality. They have a strong sense of their own identity and how they are perceived.

What is yours?

Deliver fun and engaging presentations

The Bridge

There’s a phrase in stand-up comedy: “Put your best jokes at the beginning and end, and let the middle sort itself out.”

As a metaphor, imagine columns supporting a bridge. Place the strongest points of your presentation at the beginning and end. Then think of each topic in your presentation as a pillar, evenly spread across the bridge.

This helps build rhythm to your delivery.

Keep It Clean

Making people laugh is a great way to deliver a talk that will be memorable. It’s also a minefield of personal taste, sense of humour and knowing when it is and isn’t appropriate within the context of subject you’re speaking on.

Comedians learn this the hard way. Three words of advice: Keep. It. Clean.

Take A Presentation Skills Workshop With ComedySportz

If you’d like to learn more you can sign up to the presentation skills workshop here. There will be plenty of laughter and learning and valuable feedback from John. The workshops will run Saturday 28th September 12.30-4.30pm. Workshops are held at the ThoughtWorks space in Federation House, Balloon St, Manchester.

The full cost of the presentation skills workshop is £45. Price includes £10 non-refundable deposit. Alternatively, you can pay the £10 deposit here and pay the rest on the day.

Want to take your learning even further? We’re also running an 8 week course in Stand-Up Comedy for those wishing to develop their own material with regular practice performing in a safe and supportive environment.

Looking to build connections, develop your listening and communication or get comfortable with going off script? Why not try our 8 week Improvisation classes?

Both Beginning Stand-Up Comedy and Foundation in Improv commence 5th October and will run Saturdays 12.30-2.30pm for 8 weeks. Visit our workshops pages for more information or get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Our workshops and classes are fully accredited by CSzWorldwide so when you take a workshop with ComedySportz you’re not just drawing from our 18 years+ experience teaching and performing but from the combined experience of over 30 ComedySportz teams worldwide.

All Upcoming Workshops

All Upcoming Shows

 

 

Back To School

We hope you’ve had plenty of summer fun and are ready to get back to school… No? Don’t worry we’ve shows to keep you laughing at Waterside Arts… find out more below!

Back to school? Don’t worry, we’ve still got some summer fun lined up!

We’re just about recovered from the Edinburgh Fringe now and had a little time to reflect on what has been an amazing summer of laughter, jokes and comedy shenanigans.

It kicked off with our time at the ComedySportz World Championship where we were honoured to be chosen to  perform in the final against host city Philadelphia!

Just a few days later and we were off to the Edinburgh Fringe to do two shows a day (some of us more) plus guest slots for 17 days! We had a fantastic time with amazing audiences and suggestions plus visiting players from ComedySportz worldwide.

A big thank you, as always, to all the staff at Laughing Horse Free Fringe Festival and the staff at our venues the Pear Tree and The Free Sisters.

You can catch up with all that we got up to over at our instagram.

Our last day at the Edinburgh Fringe! Thanks to the team at The Free Sisters!

…But the fun isn’t quite over as ComedySportz and ComedySportz 4 Tots return to Waterside Arts for some more family friendly fun on Saturday 31st August!

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? We have two teams, one ref, no script and lots of jokes as players fight for your laughs with quick-witted gags, games, sketches and songs. There are penalties for bad behaviour and bad jokes as the referee ensures a good clean match – it’s a family friendly show after all. Who wins? You decide!

ComedySportz 4 Tots is a show for kids aged 6 and under with lots of silly stories, songs and games guaranteed to make you giggle. There are plenty of big laughs for little kids and loads of opportunities for children to get involved in the fun. You can find out more about these and all of our upcoming events on our shows page.

Speaking of back to school, our next batch of workshops starts in September. We’re starting with a special one off Presentation Skills workshop and our new intermediate drop ins on Saturday 28th September. New to Improv? Our Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand Up Comedy courses start a week later on Saturday 5th October and will run for 8 weeks. You can find out more at our workshops pages.

Autumn Winter 2019 Workshop Dates

Our regular 8 week classes in Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand Up Comedy will return in October. Postponed from May, we are delighted that we will once again be running our Presentation Skills one day workshop in September. We’re very close to confirming dates for our next Sketch Writing course and these will be going up on our website soon – sign up to our mailing list today to never miss an update!

New Term – New Classes!

We’re trying something new with our continuing/intermediate improv workshops this time round. We will continue to run a rolling curriculum of workshops that focus on different skills and aspects of improvised performance but instead of having to sign up to a bulk course you can now drop in as often as you like. We’re trialling this new way of running the course for the autumn and will be announcing a schedule of workshops closer to the start date. Each session will cost just £5.

The intermediate workshops will be for people who have attended our Foundation Improv or an equivalent course/background as a certain level of knowledge will be assumed. If you have any questions about the course please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Keep an eye out on our website for a schedule of workshops!

Stand Up Workshops

Courses with ComedySportz

Courses are fun, friendly and affordable. We encourage play in safe and supportive environment and workshops are a great way to learn new skills whilst meeting new people. People from all backgrounds attend our workshops for lots of different reasons – to build confidence, learn performance skills, develop communication and presentation skills for work or just to play and have fun for a couple of hours every weekend!

Most workshops will take place in a new venue – the ThoughtWorks space in Federation House, Balloon St, Manchester. We are delighted that this space is fully wheelchair accessible. This is a new workshop space for us in the heart of the city and we’re very exciting to bring our classes to this new environment.

ComedySportz Manchester (CSzUK) is part of CSz Worldwide, one of the largest improv comedy and performance schools in the world. Facilitators are fully accredited by CSz Worldwide and have over a decade’s teaching experience. Join Manchester’s longest running improv and comedy classes today.

Improv Classes ManchesterBook Now!

You can pay in full now or pay a small non-refundable deposit to secure your place and pay the rest later. If you would like to make alternative payment plans we will try to accommodate you where possible.

Visit our workshops page today to find out more and book a space on one of our courses!

All Upcoming Shows

All Upcoming Workshops

 

Musical Improv Workshop – Last Few Spaces!

Does the thought of improvising songs in your games and scene work fill you with dread? This short course in Musical Improv will help you strike the write note and find the right key to unlock your musical potential!

Musical Improv Workshops Manchester

Musical Improv – Not As Scary As You Think!

ComedySportz players Rachel and Felix will guide you through all the basics of improvising a song, including structure, rhythm and melody. They’ll also show you how songs fit into a play to create a musical, and how to improvise lyrics that fit the plot, explore your characters wants and needs, and wow audiences.

The workshop is perfect for anyone hoping to expand their skill set or try something new and more importantly being able to sing/ having musical knowledge is NOT necessary to enjoy the workshop. Likewise, some basic improv scene knowledge would be useful for this two day intensive, but not crucial.

Classes are fun, friendly and affordable. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn a challenging new skill in a safe and supportive environment.

Where and When

The two day short course will run 15th-16th June and be held upstairs in the main theatre space of The Kings Arms, Salford. Each workshop will run 12.30pm-5pm.

How To Book

Visit our workshops page today to secure your space on the course. Don’t miss out – there are only a few spaces left!

You can pay in full now (£85) or pay a non-refundable deposit (£30) to secure your space. Want to take part but have to wait until payday? Just drop us an email to make alternative payment arrangements.


This will be our last workshop before the summer as we prepare for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Our regular 8 week courses will return late September/Early October with dates TBA. To make sure you never miss a workshop sign up to our mailing list today.

All Upcoming Workshops

All Upcoming Shows