Workshop & rehearsal notes, new games and exercises, impro tips and musings at our regular improv blog.

January 2015: Improv friendly rehearsal spaces in London that don't cost too much.

January 2015: I'm OK You're OK.

January 2015: Scales of Agreement.

December 2014: Hoopla's Improv Memories of 2014.

December 2014: Don’t Quit.

December 2014: Improv Videos.

December 2014: Getting improvisers into TV & Film.

July 2014: Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Show Recommendations.

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Hoopla Impro Newsletter
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, Story and having fun with improvisation.
Beginners Improv Course
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.

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. Being Obvious.
- Trust.

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.

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.

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:

Tuesdays from 9th June >> BOOK
Thursdays from 4th June >> BOOK


Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 9th June 2015 with Jinni Lyons. >> BOOK NOW


Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thursday 4th June 2015 with Heather Urquhart. >> BOOK NOW


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 18th March 2015 with Steve Roe. FULLY BOOKED


Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thursday 16th April 2015 with Katy Schutte. FULLY BOOKED


Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 19th May 2015 with Steve Roe. FULLY BOOKED


Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 20th May 2015 with Steve Roe. FULLY BOOKED

Time: 7pm - 9:30pm.

Price: £170. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £85 followed by the remaining £85 once the course starts.

Where: Theatre Delicatessen, 119 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3DA.

Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines).

Ages: 18+

Heather Urquhart (Thursdays from 4th June)
Heather trained in Physical Theatre but started a lifelong affair with improv in 2004 joining Kepow Theatre with Kevin Tomlinson. Since 2006 she's been a performer and director with the award winning Maydays, who have performed and trained internationally and have monthly residencies at Brighton’s Komedia and London’s Nursery Theatre.
Jinni Lyons (Tuesdays from 9th June)
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.

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: I’ve never done any impro, comedy or acting before, I’ve never been on stage in my life, is that OK?
A: Yes that’s perfect, this course has been designed for total beginners so you’d be very welcome.

Q: What if I can’t make every week?
A: That’s fine, we’re happy to talk you through what you missed out on earlier the next week. We have distinct topics each week so you won’t be behind if you’ve missed a week, as we’ll be teaching new stuff each week.

Q: What if I’m running late?
A: We’ll be starting each session at 7pm, but if you’re held up at work or whatnot please come along anyway, we’d rather you turned up late than miss a session.

Q: Do I have to perform in front of an audience?
A: No. You will not be performing in front of an 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 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.

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: Does it matter what teacher I have?
A: No. Steve and Edgar founded Hoopla together, and they’ve been performing and working with Maria for five years. We plan the sessions together to make sure it’s the same experience and we are covering the same topics.

Q: What if I’ve already done some improv?
A: You might want to have a look at our Performance Improv Course or Narrative Long Form Course instead.

Q: What comes after this course?
A: Our Performance Improv Course is a natural follow on. You might also be interested in our Scenes Scenes Scenes short course, Long Form Course or our various Improv Classes.

Q: What makes this different from other courses?
A: It’s very welcoming to total beginners with no pressure, 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 Tuesday 9th June 2015 with Jinni Lyons. >> BOOK NOW
Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thursday 4th June 2015 with Heather Urquhart. >> BOOK NOW
For the past two years she has been improvising solo in Jinni Lyons is an Only Child, touring this 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.
She's particularly passionate about musical improv and has co-written a book on the subject called ‘Sing it!’ which has a series of associated podcasts.

Heather is part of a two person improv team with Jules Munns. Their show ‘Ten Thousand Million Love Stories’ is a multi-character longform improv show around the theme of love. She's also mentor to Bristol Improv group ‘Degrees of Error’ and a guest performer with ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’

She compliments her improv with all manner of acting, sketch comedy and singing. she's been a performer with Brighton’s satirical comedy sketch company ‘The Treason Show’ since 2007, as well as a sometimes singer with the mercury music prize nominated Electric Soft Parade, New York Dollies and The Fiction Aisle.