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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