British Comedy Guide

SOUP RECIPE: A cookbook for topical sketch ideas

Soup Recipe

In this article, comedy writer Peter Beare kindly shares with BCG Pro members the mnemonic-based system he has devised for creating unique topical comedy sketches.

This article is not about food. If you have navigated to this page looking for practical tips on how to make soup, I promise you - you are already over-thinking it. It is not that complicated. Heat and mash some left-overs and add water, basically.

This article is, in fact, about something far more complicated: turning current affairs into comedy sketches. Whilst I will ladle out some writing tips, I'll resist making broth-related puns.

The reference to liquidised food is totally arbitrary; it merely forms an easy-to-recall arrangement of letters and words. A 'stock' phrase, if you will.

'SOUP RECIPE' is a strategy I use as part of my writing practice. Each letter is a creative 'ingredient' that I use to generate a potential premise - or comic conceit - from which I can develop a comedy sketch.

Why do I depend on such a contrived aide-memoir? Because I am not a comedy genius, that's why. Amusing scenarios do not pop miraculously into my head, fully-formed. Even after two-hundred-pounds-worth of improv lessons. For me, coming...

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