The Comedy School presents
Term 1: IMPROVISATION
BEFORE STARTING THE COURSE YOU NEED TO HAVE ATTENDED ONE OF THE TASTER SESSIONS
Taster Session 1 - Tuesday 23rd January 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Taster Session 2 - Tuesday 30th January 6.30pm - 9.30pm
8 week Course starts 6th February to 26th March - Performance/sharing 26th March - EIGHT TUESDAYS 6.30pm to 9.30pm
Term 2: STAND UP:
Learn the art of Stand Up Comedy
16th April to 11th June
TUESDAYS 6:30 to 9:30pm: plus SHOWCASE PERFORMANCE Sunday 16th June
25th June – Review performances
Learn media skills required to publish your work in radio/podcast format.
As part of each course a visit will be organised to a comedy club to watch professional comedians perform live.
Comedy for Veterans will be part of our Wellbeing Project which uses group work to foster key skills of problem solving, developing team-working skills and building confidence. These sessions will encourage you to challenge your own perceived limitations by stepping outside your comfort zones within a safe and respectful environment.
As a form of story-telling, comedy naturally encourages the improvement of communication skills: by stretching language and the imagination, listening to others and using humour to see experiences in a new light, very positive results can be seen in a short space of time. Through working in team-based interventions, this can improve self-esteem and develop a sense of belonging.
The Programme will be led by industry professionals & overseen by Keith Palmer MBE, Director & Founder of The Comedy School.
Training will take place at The Comedy School in Camden, London. 15 Gloucester Gate, London, NW1 4HG.
Terms One and Two of this pilot version of the course will be part of an evaluative study (study IRAS number: 320361) organised by Op COURAGE, London, part of the NHS Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service and the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, who are sponsoring the course.
Taking part in the study will involve completing a number of widely used psychological questionnaires (including the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire 9). These questionnaires will be completed at the start of the first course session, at the end of the final course session, and then three months after completion of the courses. Some veterans will be asked to take part in an interview in which they describe their experiences of the courses.
Participants are requested to commit to attending both terms for study purposes. Subsequent iterations of the course open to all veterans are planned and term three is open to all interested veterans.
Improvised Comedy workshops are not only hugely entertaining fun but are focused on developing both confidence and creativity in those who take part. They help people develop their imaginations, express themselves and feel comfortable communicating both one-and-one and before a group. Finally, the group exercises give participants experience and instruction on how to collaborate in the most fulfilling way. All this is achieved through using drama games and exercises, sketches and stories practised by comedy improvisers. Witnessing what others come up with in this environment, and having your performance being recognised and applauded is very gratifying.
After the tutor has finished the introductions and established a relaxed, supportive and light-hearted tone we will launch into some spontaneity exercises likely to shine light on what the blocks are that get in the way of our creativity and hold us back as well as the techniques improvisers use to disable these inhibitions.
Thereafter the attendees will master a series of improvised story-telling, characters and dialogue in skits familiar to enthusiasts of the TV show “Whose Line is It Anyway?”. These offer opportunities for everybody to invent and narrate and interact using the format of improvised comedy while at the same time reinforcing the skills and attitudes that can be used beyond the workshops in daily life.8 Weeks • Tuesdays 6.30-9.30pm
This 8-week evening course will focus on different improvisation comedy techniques each week. The topics will be delivered by specialists within that field.
• Improvisation• Character Comedy• Physical Theatre• Spontaneity • Story Telling• Short Form improv
Over the Eight weeks, the course tutors will guide participants through the process of becoming a better communicator via the art form of stand-up comedy, from writing their first piece of material to their debut performance. Everyone involved will have to be enthusiastic and confident about performing on stage. Participants will be encouraged to incorporate the skills they have covered in Term 1. The performance is a chance for all taking part to showcase their creative talents and performance ability in a professional setting, and will be a perfect opportunity to invite friends, family and casting agents.
8 Sessions + Showcase performance - Areas to be covered:
• The Dynamics of Stand Up comedy - What is the essence of Stand Up Comedy? Communication, Performing, not acting.
• Understanding Comic Attitude – Who are you on-stage in front of a live audience? What is your stage persona and emotional range?
• Generating material – What you want to say and some ideas about how to access it.
• Comedy Techniques – Basic understanding of key techniques
• Microphone Technique – Feeling comfortable hearing your voice amplified
• Performance Skills – Honing your performance
• Preparation for showcase – How the event will work
The third term, eight -weeks long and entitled “Sounds Great”, teaches participants the media skills required to publish their work in radio/podcast format.
Tutors: Professionals industry led teachers via The Comedy School.
Not sure whether to get involved? Taster sessions are provided before Terms One and Two so you can find out whether the course is for you!
Participants for the pilot course must be veterans who have previously experienced mental health difficulties and willing to take part in the NHS study. Places are limited and all applicants are requested to provide a brief explanation of why they would like to take part in the course. After submitting your registration form expect a call within 2/3 days from a friendly veteran.
[For the pilot course, the minimum age for participation is 18.]