British Comedy Guide

Stand-up Comedy Writing Sessions with Chris Head

Stand-up Comedy Writing Sessions: Create New Material. Copyright: BCG.
  • Writing
  • £125
  • Next: 16 Sep 2021 (5 x Thursday evenings)
  • Online

"Before the first session I was anxious, before the second I was excited, and by the third it was the highlight of my week! Trying out a different technique each week is really helpful and Chris’ feedback is very constructive – over the weeks you’ll get a good idea of where your strengths lie and how you can improve." CR

"I just wanted to say how useful I have found the online course. Very good for making you write about things you wouldn’t normally consider! And looking at old topics with new eyes. I really enjoyed it. So much so I have booked onto the next one." VK

Note: this course runs a number of times a year and each time we take different topics as starting points so you can return and do the course again and it'll be different and will inspire fresh material.

In this stand-up comedy writing course we will explore a range of starting points and techniques for writing stand-up which you'll explore in your own writing, leaving the course with new material, fresh ideas and lots of helpful techniques and approaches. Each week there'll be a two hour online class via Zoom - the video of which is shared the following day. In between sessions an ongoing conversation on your developing material unfolds on a Trello board.

This is a good follow on from Chris' previous online (and live) stand-up courses and newcomers are welcome too. It's suitable for both newbie and gigging comics. For new comedians it will give you lots of different techniques and approaches for writing stand-up and you'll generate lots of material. For more experienced comics it will sharpen your skills, expand your toolkit and show you new approaches to creating material - plus everyone of whatever level will leave with lots of new material!

Each week YOU will nominate stand-up clips in an online discussion with the rest of the group, and Chris will select key moments from a number of them to analyse and discuss in the session, drawing out techniques and subject matter that you can explore in your own way. That way you're guaranteed to be analysing some of your favourite comics as a springboard for your own new material and you'll be introduced to favourite comics of your classmates. Our analysis and discussion across the course will reveal a huge range of stand-up techniques and approaches and you'll discover how you can use them yourself in your own way, in the new material you create on the course. We'll explore a different theme each week, to focus your picks of clips.


WEEK 1: Cars, taxis, driving.

WEEK 2: Water, swimming and weather

WEEK 3: Music and clubbing,

WEEK 4: Restaurants and bars.

WEEK 5: Animals and pets

Stand-ups discussed and analysed on previous courses include Kevin Hart, Daniel Kitson, Aisling Bea, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Bridges, Maria Bamford, Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Milton Jones, Trevor Noah, Jena Friedman, Adele Cliff, Rob Newman, Mark Thomas, Sarah Millican, Russell Howard, Mo Gilligan, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Romesh Ranganathan, Gina Yashere, Demetri Martin, Trevor Noah, Kat Williams, Noel Fielding, Bridget Christie and Henning Vehn.

There will be playful exercises in the class to start you exploring ideas. At the end of each session you are given a number of writing briefs to develop new material. This work you share with the rest of the group between sessions. There are a several ways you can share your work:

- Film yourself delivering the material to camera. With a home taped performance video, we'll explore how to make this playful and conversational. Even done without an audience, committing the material to video and receiving detailed feedback can be a very useful step before putting it on stage.
- Or record audio.
(You can do several takes and pick your favourite, or even edit parts of different takes together - and cut out waffle or stumbles etc.)
- Share a script.
- Or do it LIVE in the next class.

A Trello board accompanies the course with background information and resources and this is where you share your videos. An online conversation soon builds up amongst the group and Chris, responding to your work with appreciation, ideas and suggestions, supporting and inspiring each other.

"Chris has an encyclopaedic knowledge of stand-up and is really passionate about sharing it. The lessons and activities are well thought through and well structured. Chris has a very engaging style which encourages every participant to progress. The online format works extremely well for this topic as most of the learning comes from analysing and discussing video performances of established comedians.  The weekly video assignment helps practice and crystallise the learning points. Overall a very enjoyable experience." UB

Dates and booking

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Thursday 16th Sept - 14th October 2021

Thursday 16th September 2021, 7pm - 9pm (5 x Thursday evenings)
Standard BCG Pro
£125 £118.75 Book

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This course is provided by Chris Head.

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