Hoopla Impro Newsletter

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Next Available Dates:

All of our Beginners Improv Courses are currently fully booked. We’ll be putting up some new dates on 3rd February. In the meantime check out our shorter one day Beginners Improv Workshops, we still have space on them and they are starting soon.


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wed 23rd March FULLY BOOKED

Time: 7pm - 9:30pm each week.

Price: £185. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £90 followed by the remaining £95 once the course starts.

Workshop Location: Charles Dickens School, Toulmin Street, London Bridge, SE1 1AF.

Tube: London Bridge or Borough (Northern Line).

Teacher: Jinni Lyons.


Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thur 14th Jan 2016. FULLY BOOKED


Every Monday for 8 weeks from Mon 18th Jan 2016 with Maria Peters. FULLY BOOKED


Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tue 12th Jan 2016 with Steve Roe. FULLY BOOKED


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wed 13th Jan with Maria Peters. FULLY BOOKED


Every Monday for 8 weeks from Mon 1st Feb 2016 with Edgar Fernando. FULLY BOOKED


Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tue 15th March 2016 with Steve Roe. FULLY BOOKED

Fringe Guru Remote Goat 1080 Magazine Edinburgh Guide

Beginners Improv Course

8 week beginners courses to learn the core skills of improvised comedy.

Hoopla offer one of the most fun and friendly environments to learn improvisation in the UK.


Complete beginners are welcome. You don’t need any drama, acting, comedy or impro experience whatsoever. You don’t have to be clever, fast or funny either!

Hoopla create a friendly, fun and supportive atmosphere in workshops where people are free to play and be themselves.

Impro is not the same as stand-up; you're not alone on stage and it's not about telling jokes. It's about working together as a team with other improvisers to spontaneously create group stories, scenes & sketches.

Over a course of 8 weekly workshops you’ll progress as a team while learning core improvisation skills like Spontaneity, Listening, Yes And, Character, Scenes, Games, Story and having fun with improvisation.

“If improvisation floats your boat you should head to Hoopla. There’s fewer better ways to see what spur-of-the-moment comedy London has to offer.”

The Londonist

“Everywhere you look, huge grins suggest an enthusiasm-and an attentiveness-that is rarely seen in the classroom.”

The Daily Telegraph

“You really rocked it as ever, and I have heard nothing but good from the participants. Once again, thanks again for a splendid series of workshops.” Gareth Mitchell, Lecturer, Science Communication, Imperial College.

“Inspiring, hilarious and richly rewarding. The workshop brightened up everyone's morning. The whole experience was a true pleasure and hugely helpful.”

James Honda-Pinder, Apple

The supportive atmosphere ensures that even complete beginners will have the confidence to grow their skills.”

Time Out

“This introduction to improvisation will teach the skills you'll need to master scenes, stories and sketches in a relaxed environment.

“The workshop is supportive and collaborative and neatly strips out the expectation and nerves that result from comedic preparation.”

The Evening Standard

“Thanks for the workshop. All the feedback has been extremely positive! The team loved it!”

PR Manager, Comedy Central

"Beginners Impro - This is a brilliant course, which I cannot rate highly enough. The teachers  are experts in the field of impro and made sure that everyone had fun from beginning to end. The course is taken in a relaxed and supportive environment which meant everyone was able to 'let go' and enjoy themselves. It was so much fun, I have just booked the next course!” Sam Merrington

“Great improv workshop with @hooplaimpro couldn't stop smiling from beginning until end!”


“Thank you for an awesome session this eve. Haven't laughed this much on a Monday eve for years :-)” @SarasmithsVO

“Have I mentioned that I’m Learning Improv with @hooplaimpro and it is the best thing ever? Because I am and it is.”


"The workshop was just so much fun with an amazing teacher."

Joëlle Sarrailh

“Just wanted to give you a huge thank you for this amazing two months in improv courses. I really liked the passion you put each evening and the energy in explaining all the practices, games and skills. I sincerely enjoyed each and every one of them. Besides all the improv techniques I learnt, it was a fantastic experience.” Fernando Martinez Denia

“@hooplaimpro We heart you! Such a fun 8 weeks and such great people! I shall be seeing you again!” @SarahSquare28

Reviews and Testimonials:

Course Contents

Each session consists of some fun and friendly warm ups, then some exercises on some of the core skills of improvisation, followed by having some fun with improvising games, scenes and stories.

We’ll be covering loads of improv topics as part of the course including:


- Active Listening and Awareness.

- Being in the moment. Presence.

- Creative Teamwork.

Yes And, Yes Let’s.

- Accepting and Building on Offers.

- Expanding and Deepening Offers.

- Verbal, Emotional and Physical Offers.


- Going for it. Improvising carefree.

- Playing and having fun with mistakes.

- Confidence on stage.

- Physical improvisation.

Being Obvious.

- Playing real characters on stage.

- Building a reality.

- Not trying to be clever or funny.

- Trust.

Character & Relationships.

- Physical Characters.

- Status.

- Emotions, Reactions, Being Altered.

- Improvising Characters with Depth.

- Relationships, Attitude, Point of View.


- Scene Structure.

- Platforms, Environment, Relationship.

- Being Altered.

- Spotting, reacting, justifying unusual.

- Game of the Scene.

- Scene work.


- Narrative Structure.

- Building Platforms.

- Character, Relationship, Location.

- Keeping it Real.

- What Happens Next & Reincorporation.


- Short-form games.

- Introduction to performance games.

You’ll be rehearsing with the same people regularly every week, so you progress each week, getting to know each other and building up a team with your fellow improvisers and the director.

Most of all we make improv fun.

Available Dates:

All of our Beginners Improv Courses are currently fully booked. We’ll be putting up some new dates on 3rd February. In the meantime check out our shorter one day Beginners Improv Workshops, we still have space on them and they are starting soon.

Steve Roe (15th March start)

Steve Roe is the co-founder of Hoopla and has been teaching improv for over ten years.

Steve creates a friendly, fun & supportive atmosphere in workshops where people are free to play and be themselves.

Steve has experience of teaching beginners, experienced improvisers, stand ups, drama school students and professional actors.

He has also taught improv at Imperial College London, East 15 Drama School and Oxford University, and to various corporate clients including Comedy Central, Apple, BBC and ITV.

In 2010 Steve founded the UK’s first ever improvised comedy club at The Miller in London Bridge, helping to create a vibrant community of performers and audience.

Hoopla’s Improv Comedy Club was recently recommended by Time Out, The Daily Telegraph The Evening Standard and The Londonist.

Steve has studied improv with Keith Johnstone, Charna Halpern from IO, Patti Styles from Improv Melbourne, Shawn Kinley from Loose Moose, The Annoyance, The Upright Citizens Brigade, Fooling with Jonathan Kay and Clown with Mick Barnfather.

Steve performs with The House Band and regularly hosts Hoopla’s nights at The Miller, as well as performing, producing and directing various groups across the London improv scene.

He continues to support countless other shows that have popped up from Hoopla workshops and is influential in growing the UK’s improv scene.

Edgar Fernando (1st February Start)

Edgar has performed and directed in mutiple improv shows across the live London impro scene and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

He’s a big fan of keeping impro simple, uncomplicated, fun, non-intellectual, and getting it back to having fun and being spontaneous.

He’s also taught impro to various Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities including Imperial College London.

Edgar is also a DJ, performing with his brother as The Fernando Brothers. In the summer he is going to be starting improv workshops and shows in Ibiza, kick starting Hoopla Ibiza!

Edgar Fernando is also a co-founder of Hoopla and has been teaching & performing improv for nine years.

Edgar has trained in impro with Keith Johnstone (Loose Moose Theatre), Patti Styles (Improv Melbourne), John Cremer (The Maydays), Jonathan Kay, Kevin Tomlinson, Rob Broderick (Abondoman), The Penny Dreadfuls, Alan Marriott (The Crunchy Frog Collective) and Dylan Emery (Grand Theft Impro).


Jinni Lyons (23rd March start)

Jinni has performed both short-form and long-form improv all over London, at the Edinburgh Fringe, and in Italian at the Match d'Improvizzazione Mondiali, as well as in improvathons in Liverpool, London, and at the Bristol Old Vic.

For the past two years she has been improvising solo in Jinni Lyons is an Only Child, touring last year to festivals in Texas, Boston, Cambridge and Bristol.

After starting her improv training with Hoopla, she went on to learn from Cariad Lloyd (Austentatious), Mark Beltzman (co-founder of Improv Olympic, Chicago, and Director at Second City), Dylan Emery (Showstoppers!, The School of Night) and Jacob Banigan (Rapid Fire Theatre, Edmonton, Canada).

She is also a teacher at The Actors Centre, where she was a judge for this year's Alan Bates Bursary Award.


Q: What comes after this course?

A: Our Performance Improv Course is our best follow on.

Q: What comes before this course?

A: You don’t have to have done any other improv or acting before this course, no previous experience necessary, it’s for complete beginners to improv.

Q: Who is this suitable for?

A: Total beginners to improvisation, acting or comedy, or people who’ve only ever done a few improv workshops before.  

Q: How much improv or acting should I have done before doing this course?

A: You don’t need to have done anything at all before starting this course. No experience is necessary.

Q: What if I’ve already done some improv?

A: You might want to have a look at our Performance Improv Course or Long Form Course instead.

Q: What if I can’t make every week?

A: It’s not worth doing the course if you are likely to miss more than two workshops, as we are trying to build a team over the course. If you do miss a week please email us and we might be able to fit you on a different course for a catch up, but we can’t guarantee that.

Q: What if I’m running late?

A: It’s best not to sign up to the course if you are going to be late on a regular basis, as we are forming a team over the course. Also we tend to introduce the theme of each workshop at the start of the session, and also do all the warm ups at the start, so it’s tricky to do if late. Once or twice is ok, but please don’t sign up to the course if you are likely to be late on a regular basis.

Q: Do I have to perform in front of an  outside audience?

A: No. You will not be performing in front of an outside audience in this course, just with the other people on the course. If you want to perform in front of an audience we also run our Performance Improv Course, which is a good follow up to this course.

Q: What’s the class size?

A: The group size is going to be limited to 14 people - small enough that you get lots and lots of practice and stage time, but big enough that there’s still a lively atmosphere in the workshop. It’ll be fun as we get to know each other and build a team together.

Q: What ages is it for?

A: 18 and over. It’s suitable for all ages.

Q: What is it?

A: Improv. Teams of people, including you, playing together to improvise scenes, sketches, games and stories. It’s not stand-up, you’re not by yourself on stage. More about improv.

Q: Is it like public speaking or stand up?

A: No. This isn’t a public speaking or stand up course, it’s all about improvising scenes, games and stories as a team, it’s not about performing solo on stage. More about improv.

Q: What kind of people do your courses?

A: We get people from  lots of different backgrounds, from a wide variety of ages. We’ve had everyone from 18 to 80 on our courses. We’ve taught improvisation to computer programmers, teachers, engineers, actors, accountants, comedians, students and more. We get lots of different people as it’s a good place to relax and have some fun after work.

Q: Are the courses accessible to people who use a wheelchair?

A: It depends on the venue, so please contact us and we will advise on the best course to book.

Q: Is this course suitable for people who have English as a second language?

A: Our courses are very international, but you will have to be fluent in English as we do a lot of improvised dialogue. If you’re not sure please contact us and we will advise the best course.

Q: Does it matter what teacher I have?

A: No. We all come from similar performing and training backgrounds. We train and plan the courses together to make sure it’s the same experience and we are covering the same topics.

Q: What makes this different from other courses?

A: It’s very welcoming to total beginners and lots of fun. There are loads of laughs and it’s hugely enjoyable. We try to make our courses the most fun out there.

Available Dates:

All of our Beginners Improv Courses are currently fully booked. We’ll be putting up some new dates on 3rd February. In the meantime check out our shorter one day Beginners Improv Workshops, we still have space on them and they are starting soon.