Hoopla Impro Newsletter

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Next Available Dates:

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tues 24th May 2016 with Sophie Pumphrey. >> BOOK NOW


Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 6th June 2016 with Katy Schutte. >> BOOK NOW


Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thurs 9th June 2016 with Sophie Pumphrey. >> BOOK NOW


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wed 13th July 2016 with Chris Mead. >> BOOK NOW


Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 24th May 2016 with Sophie Pumphrey. FULLY BOOKED


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wed 25th May with Steve Roe. 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.

Location (24th May start date): Theatre Delicatessen, 119 Farringdon Road, Farringdon, London, EC1R 3ER

Workshop Location (June and July start dates): Charles Dickens School, Toulmin Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 1AF.

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:

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tues 24th May. >> BOOK NOW


Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 6th June. >> BOOK NOW


Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thurs 9th June. >> BOOK NOW


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wed 13th July. >> BOOK NOW


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:

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tues 24th May 2016 with Sophie Pumphrey. >> BOOK NOW


Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 6th June 2016 with Katy Schutte. >> BOOK NOW


Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thurs 9th June 2016 with Sophie Pumphrey. >> BOOK NOW


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 13th July 2016 with Chris Mead. >> BOOK NOW

Chris Mead


Chris has studied improv internationally at iO Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, The Magnet, Baby Wants Candy and The Hideout in Austin, TX.

He has also studied with teachers from Second City and UCB, and with veteran teams Baby Wants Candy, Beer Shark Mice, Dummy and Parallelogramophonograph.

He regularly performs with his sci-fi long-form team Project 2 and also Geekeasy, Destination and The Maydays.

He coaches The Science of Living Things, one of Hoopla’s most popular regular shows at The Miller, and a variety of other longform troupes in and around London.

Away from improv, Chris co-writes, performs and produces cult Doctor Who comedy podcast The Ood Cast, which attracts thousands of listeners worldwide.

Chris is the director of Faith, hope & gaffertape theatre company who work with young performers around the country to perform musicals and is a trustee of The Nursery Theatre.

Sophie Pumphrey


Sophie started first trained in improv over 10 years ago with Alan Marriott, the founder of The Crunchy Frog Collective, Grand Theft Impro and the first London TheatreSports.

Since then has worked with many other wonderful teachers like Susan Messing (IO, Annoyance), Rachel Mason (IO, Second City), and Colleen Doyle and Jason Schotts of Dummy.

She has trained at The Actors Temple in Meisner-based techniques of acting and also with Peta Lily and Jon Davison in clowning.

She is also a teaches English as a foreign language professionally, including recently working in South Korea.

She has set up and performed in various improvised comedy groups including the fabulous Made Up Like Tarts and C3467x, the fable-making Fat Perm duo, and is currently starring in the satirical BIGNOW! in and around London.

Katy Schutte


Katy trained at Second City and iO Chicago as well as with teachers from Annoyance, UCB and more.

She is a Funny Women finalist and winner of the Brighton Festival Fringe Best Comedy Show award.

Katy has performed with the Maydays for 11 years. In 2014 Katy created Oh Boy! The Quantum Leap Show, which returned to Edinburgh in 2015.

She performs in sci-fi improv group Project2, and produces and performs in Geekeasy the monthly comedy night for nerds.

She also performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with their Ghostbusters themed musical "Who Ya Gonna Call?" which received rave reviews. She also made her first solo theatre show I Have an Idea for a Film at the Edinburgh Fringe.

She is half of the two woman long form show Katy and Rach, and plays in the Destination podcast and live shows.

She coaches long form teams and leads workshops in England, Europe and the States. Katy was one of the first people to teach the rest of the Hoopla team, and inspired us to create various shows.

She has toured with Fluxx, improvised musicals with Music Box and Baby Wants Candy and notably guested in the London and Liverpool Improvathons, Grand Theft Impro and Messing with a Friend.

Katy is also a sketch comedian, actress and theatre-maker.

Katy is currently working on Knightmare Live and being a nerd consultant for a new Gonzo Moose show.