British Comedy Guide

Comedy courses / workshops Page 4

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Marc Blake

  • Tuesday 6th October 2009, 7:43pm
  • England
  • 141 posts

Dear all. Next How NOT to write a Sitcom course is Saturday November 7th. More details on the courses page on this website (once it has been updated) or from me on marcgblake@hotmail.co.uk

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Phoenix Perry

  • Monday 2nd November 2009, 11:59pm
  • England
  • 9 posts

Was wondering if anyone had any advice about getting into the ACTING side of comedy. I've tried to write sketches in the past but they always end up....well.........absolutely rubbish. So I've come to the conclusion I'd rather put myself in hands of someone who actually has the ability to write comedy!! :P

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Anorak

  • Tuesday 3rd November 2009, 2:29am
  • England
  • 283 posts

Depends where you are. If you're in or near London there are loads of courses to cater for everything from stand-up to sketchwriting to comedy performing. Qualities and costs vary hugely but standupanddeliver.com is a good place to start. All top quality tutors. Then there are places like City Lit, and The Actors Centre, that run specialised comedy acting classes, improv etc.

I've no idea how things are in the rest of the UK - am guessing that Manchester and Glasgow and/or Edinburgh may have a few comedy courses. Otherwise I think you'll just have to trawl through all the prospectuses of your local colleges and night schools to see if they offer anything.

And if you're really enterprising and lucky to have some like minded people around you could just set up a group yourself.

Good luck!

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Steve Sunshine

  • Friday 6th November 2009, 4:03am [Edited]
  • Dagenham, England
  • 14,541 posts

I'm enjoying Chris Heads Radio Sketch show workshop at the moment.
I think that being on the BCG has been very useful when it comes to Critiquing things.
And being on the BCG has also been useful for helping me to ignore the idiots that have the audacity to Critique my stuff. :D

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bushbaby

  • Tuesday 24th November 2009, 3:11am
  • England
  • 3,497 posts

Simon and Declan have a couple coming up, one in Manchester on the 13th Dec

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Steve Sunshine

  • Wednesday 2nd December 2009, 10:11pm
  • Dagenham, England
  • 14,541 posts

Just finished Chris Heads Writing for Radio workshop.
I really enjoyed it.
It was great to perform some of my sketches & see where the laughs were. Turns out they were in the other peoples sketches but it was good to know.

He's starting a new Animation course as well soon if that's of interest to anyone.

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The Giggle-o

  • Wednesday 2nd December 2009, 11:38pm
  • England
  • 1,489 posts
Quote: Steve Sunshine @ December 2 2009, 5:11 PM GMT

Just finished Chris Heads Writing for Radio workshop.
I really enjoyed it.
It was great to perform some of my sketches & see where the laughs were. Turns out they were in the other peoples sketches but it was good to know.

:D

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MGF Driver

  • Saturday 10th April 2010, 2:35pm
  • Reading, England
  • 4 posts
Quote: Phoenix Perry @ November 3 2009, 12:59 AM BST

Was wondering if anyone had any advice about getting into the ACTING side of comedy. I've tried to write sketches in the past but they always end up....well.........absolutely rubbish. So I've come to the conclusion I'd rather put myself in hands of someone who actually has the ability to write comedy!! :P


I was wondering the same, but from another angle, are there any comedy actors out there who want to read and work on sitcoms scripts. They may be new to comedy acting and I am new to sitcom writing, so maybe we can help each other

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MGF Driver

  • Saturday 10th April 2010, 3:22pm
  • Reading, England
  • 4 posts

I have checked out a few courses in London before deciding on which one to do, My choice is the 'Chris Head Comedy Course'. Before deciding, I also went to some of the showcases to see the end result myself which was a bit of an eye opener to what is expected of people who go on these courses or not!. I even signed up to one before deciding on my final choice.

I don't want to do stand up for a living, instead use it as a way of getting material for writing sitcoms, so I admit, I had this in mind when making my choice. The one which seems to be getting all the good feedback and was initially my first choice following recommendations was 'The London Comedy Course' at Up The Creek comedy Club in Greenwich. I first heard about it from a comedy club owner in Clapham who actually made a joke about it on stage saying good news tonight is that no students from that comedy course are entering the competition, so that means someone else gets a chance of winning this week. I asked him about what he meant and he told me that new comics who have done that course often win his weekly new act competition and they do seem to churn out good acts. I received lots of information on line and in the post from different comedy courses and when I got 'The London Comedy Course' info pack, called them and spoke to a nice lady, who after hearing what I was seeking actually advised me to maybe try one of the other courses more suitable to writing and less dedicated to training people who want to enter stand up as a profession, she even suggested a competitors course which may be more suitable to my needs. I really was so impressed with her honesty and the whole way they seem to operate. She also suggest I attend one of their showcases in two weeks time at Up The Creek to see for myself if it was for me or not and glad for me I did. The course it seems is aimed at training to become a professional stand up, as she said; and with the showcase done in a packed major comedy club venue with professional comics as guest acts and established compares. They have a number of bookers and agents there and I understood what she meant by having a lot of pressure applied to do well at the showcase. She was right, all too much for someone who wants to do it for fun or someone like me for improving writing skills. I have to say, if I wanted to be a stand up comic for a living this would have been the course I would have booked on. Even the student's testimonials say things like 'the tutor pulls no punches' and 'it's hard but the end result was impressive'. Speaking to one of the students after, she confirmed it is structured and taught to get the student to a level to earn money from comedy and only half the course is based on comedy writing, with the rest on performance and delivery skills and she even suggested it wasn't the right course for someone wanting to do it for any other reason than to become a professional comic and they expect high standards throughout the entire course. They had 10 new acts on and I admit the standard was very high, too high in fact to regard them as first timers on stage, although they were! all very slick and professional. (scary!) One reviewer said if this was an acting school it would be RADA. Very impressed with what I saw and heard from them, but just too professional and daunting for someone like me to undertake.

I tried to get info about The City Lit comedy course but the only thing they supply is a booklet with the course time and date on and nothing about the course or the tutor apart from their name. So can't comment much on them apart from it is run from a big college in Central London that does lots of acting classes.

The one I actually got to sign up for (which I did solely based on their presence on the web) was 'The Comedy School' based in North London. They are the biggest provider of stand up courses it seems and have the most courses running. They have impressive information on the web and lots of good reviews but I lasted one week as the class numbers were to high to get any single attention, in fact I spent the whole time the first session not even doing any speaking on stage or for that matter any speaking at all, as some more vocal new students were grabbing all the time. Bit annoyed also as their web blurb shows a number of well known acts as tutors but our tutor no one had heard of or could I find any reference to as being a comedian. Never got to their showcase, but if after the first session I had not even held a mic, I can't imagine the standard being that high. A real case of Quantity not Quality.

Looked at Logan Murray's course, it was the one the lady from the 'London Comedy Course' suggest I try and more suitable for my needs and went along to their showcase, it was a completely different set up to the professional showcase for the ' London Comedy Course' but also equally as impressive for me but for different reasons. It was in a small room which held about 50 people, much less daunting for a newbie then the pressure of having to play 'Up the Creek'. The tutor also performed which like 'The London Comedy Course' who did the same, is always a good idea for a student to see the standard of the tutor doing comedy before deciding. The standard of the final new acts wasn't as polished and professional as the ones on at Up The Creek but they all seemed to be enjoying the experience and it was a really nice night. Some of the acts struggled but the audience were very supportive. Some of the students said it was very laid back and I found out that Logan doesn't actually give any negative feedback, only positive which really boosts their confidence on stage. I nearly signed up for this one but that last comment got me slightly worried, as although I won't cope with the pressure to be the best with the 'London Comedy Course'. I also want to learn from my mistakes so maybe this one was a bit too far the other way and it molly cuddled the students to much, so decided in the end it wasn't for me. Pity as everyone seemed really nice.

Never followed up going to the Laughing Horse comedy course showcase night but from their website, they seem to have a number of open spot clubs, useful maybe for their students to get some shows in. The Laughing Horse course was the cheapest of all the courses. They do seem to run lots of little clubs, but many with mixed reviews and not sure if people who run mainly new act nights, are experienced enough comics to teach other new comics, so turned this one down also. Maybe someone can correct me on this.

My final choice and the one I am going to sign up for is the 'Chris Head Comedy Course' as that seems to be most geared to my needs as a writer and the one everyone on this writing forum seems to recommend. It looks at that side over being a stand up or a performer. Lots of good reviews on here and on other sites about how this course looks at comedy more academically with lots of time spent on the history of comedy and the background into making a good comedy writer.

Sorry if this is very London focused but I am in Reading and not able to include any other courses I have looked into outside the capital which may have been perfect for me up north apart from the distance.

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nigel worthington

  • Sunday 18th April 2010, 8:43pm
  • England
  • 50 posts

ive been trying to enrol on chirs heads course for a week now...

all he provides on his site is a contact email address, of which he doesn't seem to respond to.

please can anyone advise how I enrol on chirs heads course?

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Nil Putters

  • Sunday 18th April 2010, 9:18pm [Edited]
  • A galaxy far, far away or, England
  • 28,688 posts

*Chris

But that's the least of your concerns, grammar/punctuation-wise. ;)

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Nil Putters

  • Sunday 18th April 2010, 9:30pm
  • A galaxy far, far away or, England
  • 28,688 posts

Ha!

But you're wrong. :P