• write and perform stand up comedy

stand up comedy course

An 8 week stand up comedy course on writing and performing stand up, culminating in a live showcase performance in front of a friendly audience at our comedy club.

No previous experience needed, complete beginners are welcome. No previous experience in stand up, writing or comedy are needed to do this course.

Next available dates in King's Cross:

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 22nd January 2019, plus show on Monday 18th March 2019. BOOK NOW

Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 14th November 2018, with break over Christmas and New Year, and show on Wednesday 23rd January 2019. FULLY BOOKED.

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm.

Price: £210. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £100 followed by the remaining £110 at the start of the course.

Venue: The Pauline Quirke Academy (formerly known as The Poor School), 242 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9JY.

Tube: King’s Cross.

Next available dates in Liverpool Street:

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 30th October 2018, with show on Wednesday 19th December 2018. FULLY BOOKED.

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm.

Price: £210. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £100 followed by the remaining £110 at the start of the course.

Venue: The Kobi Nazrul Centre, 30 Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR.

Tube: Liverpool Street.

who runs the course

Nick Hall ComedyNICK HALL is a stand up comedian, improviser, writer and actor. He has written and performed for BBC2, BBC3, and BBC Radio 4. Nick is represented by Ellie Cahill at Noel Gay.

Nick’s captivating and inventive style marked him out as one to watch. Since 2013 he’s on the New Act Night at the Comedy Café, reached the semi-finals of So You Think You’re Funny, beaten the Gong at The Comedy Store and beaten the Blackout at Up the Creek.

Nick was previously a member of the critically acclaimed sketch group The Three Englishmen, appearing on BBC2’s Dick and Dom’s Funny Business, Radio 4’s Sketchorama, and BBC3’s Funny in Fifteen.

Nick is currently performing his character comedy show SPENCER around the UK, follow a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Nick is a member of The Committee, London’s hottest improvised comedy group. The Committee create hilarious, fast-paced improvised comedy, all of it made up on the spot by performers as seen on BBC One, Channel 4 and Radio 4.

Nick took his debut solo character comedy show DODEKAHEDRON to the Underbelly for the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe and also performed in Adam Riches’ COACH COACH at the Pleasance Theatre Edinburgh and Soho Theatre.

He’s compered for cult movie night Hot Tub Cinema and hit football show Comedy Commentary, as well as MCing various other events. He has appeared on Sky News, The Times Red Box podcast and written articles for The Independent.

“Brilliant” The Times
“Impossible not to be won over” Chortle
“Crackingly original” ★★★★ The List
“Side splittingly funny” ★★★★★ ThreeWeeks
“Mad cap energy” ★★★★★ British Comedy Guide
“One not to miss” ★★★★ The Skinny
“Comedy dynamite” ★★★★★ Broadway Baby
“Genuinely hilarious” ★★★★ Fringe Review

Recommended by TimeOut, The Times and Fest

Performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton Fringe, Latitude Festival, Udderbelly Festival, Meadowlands Festival, Princes Trust, Cornbury Festival and Bloomsbury Theatre.

what's included

Our stand up comedy course is about giving you the skills to produce great work over the long-term. We aim to help you express as well as possible what is uniquely funny about you.

Suitable for all, from complete beginners to people who’ve already done some gigs. We adapt to each person so everyone welcome.

We will provide a safe environment for our students to perform a short set every week. We don’t think you can learn comedy from a book: you need to learn by doing it and finding out what is uniquely hilarious about you.

You will learn how to write hilarious material, and also how to perform it with charisma and skill. Furthermore, you will be given an insider’s view of the circuit to help you find gigs and avoid the common pitfalls of beginners.

Our coach a working professional stand-up. He has been there and done it, and continues to do it most night of the week, so he knows all about the journey from beginner to professional. Thus he has unique insight into what it takes, and what has helped him make the jump.

No previous experience needed, complete beginners are welcome. No previous experience in stand up, writing or comedy is needed to do this course.

Topics Covered

An introduction to jokes:
We will look at the nuts and bolts of joke writing, common pitfalls, and basic “rules”. For example:

  • Rule of three.
  • Pull back and reveal.
  • Cutting the fat: being lean.
  • Call-backs.
  • Toppers.
  • A variety of word-play jokes.
  • Set-ups: building tension and using misdirection.
  • Max’s three act joke structure explanation.

We will also look at some techniques to help generate material, such as:

  • Joke webs/spider diagrams.
  • Morning pages.
  • The surrealist inquisition sheet.
  • Third eye.

 

Character as one of the crucial parts of good comedy:
Through video and group discussion we will look at great sitcom characters, and also stand-ups with a distinctive “attitude” or “point of view” (which comes to be their character on stage).

Alongside character, we will look at the importance of exaggeration in comedy: through exaggeration comes truth. Comedy is not about being reasonable, being objective, having perspective, taking the rough with the smooth. It’s about the opposite. Our job is to help the students find the part of their psyche which is unreasonable and help them filter the world through it for material. It’s about putting that part of their personality to the forefront.

The aim of this part of the course is to help the students identify the funniest part of their personality and turn it up to 11.

As a stand-up you’re a cartoon. Through this process the students will build their clown, their own distinctive comic character on the stage.

The incongruence that is crucial to a funny joke comes from not just linguistics (the written material) but also through attitude and clowning: the “meta-joke”, as it were. You are exaggerating things, making them huge, you are an architect of the absurd. The jokes are the bullet in the gun, but you are the funny thing.

Finally, we’ll also look at the vital importance of CONVICTION in both the writing and performance of material.

 

Observation/recognition based material:

There is no one big secret to good comedy, just lots of little ones and a few biggies: recognition is one of these biggies. So we will focus on the laughter of recognition, and the importance of being relatable with your material: passing the “owning up test”.

Through truth you’ll find the funny, specifically your own truth. We will work on the students confessing to their own minutiae as that is what audiences connect most to. We’ll teach you to be “a spy in the house of me”, because talking about yourself unlocks what Eddie Izzard calls “the mother-load”: a huge fountain of potential material.

 

Performance Skills:

We will analyse videos of great comics for technique before doing specific exercises to build skills. Including:

  • Body language.
  • Para-language.
  • Mugging and mimicry.
  • Making everything BIG!
  • Energy: physical, vocal and emotional.
  • Breaking 4th wall, connecting with audience. Stand-up is a live art-form and we want students to embrace this.

We’ll look at preachers, legendary front-men and great communicators in general in the process to help students produce a performance of confidence, charisma, energy and presence.

One of the biggest objectives of the course is for the students to build their confidence. I have a special method for achieving this, by helping students to fix what I call “the hole”.

 

Stories:

We’ll look at building stories. How to take the cornel of a story and build it into a longer “bit”: full of jokes and amusing imagery. Most people don’t understand that stories are made, not born, and we will focus on the craft of building routines.

 

Final Preparations for the Performance:

Including mic technique, psychological warm-up planning to help prevent stage-fright, the ordering and linking of material (segues), easy errors to avoid.