Level 1: Beginners Improv Course
beginners improv course
8 week beginners improv courses to learn the core skills of improvised comedy.
Hoopla offer the most fun and friendly environment 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, playful and supportive atmosphere in our improv courses where people are free to play and be themselves.
Improv 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, Commitment, Confidence, Character, Scenes, Games, Story and most of all playing and having fun with improvisation.
The supportive atmosphere ensures that even complete beginners will have the confidence to grow their skills.
Hoopla's workshops are supportive and collaborative.
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.
Everywhere you look, huge grins suggest an enthusiasm and an attentiveness that is rarely seen in a course.
This introduction to improvisation will teach the skills you'll need to master scenes, stories and sketches in a relaxed environment.
Thanks for the workshop. All the feedback has been extremely positive! The team loved it!
next available dates
Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 21st January 2019 with Alison Goldie. BOOK NOW
Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 15th January 2019 with James Witt. BOOK NOW
Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thursday 17th January 2019 with Jenny Rowe. BOOK NOW
Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 5th February 2019 with Monica Gaga. BOOK NOW
Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 14th January 2019 with Jonah Fazel. BOOK NOW
Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 16th January 2019 with Susan Harrison. FULLY BOOKED.
Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thursday 17th January 2019 with Susan Harrison. BOOK NOW
Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 21st January 2019 with Rory Vieyra. BOOK NOW
Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 16th January 2019 with Rhiannon Vivian. BOOK NOW
Every Thursday for 8 weeks from Thursday 17th January 2018 with Sally Hodgkiss. BOOK NOW
Every Tuesday for 8 weeks from Tuesday 19th March 2019 with Liam Brennan. BOOK NOW
who runs the course
Rhiannon performs with the awarding winning Maydays, Dreamweaver Quartet and Bumper Blyton. She trained iO and Annoyance Theatres in Chicago and UCB in New York.
Sue performs in the Olivier award winning Showstoppers the Improvised Musical, Beings, and BAFTA winning sketch show Class Dismissed.
James performs in The Dreamweaver Quartet, Music Box and Newsical. James trained in Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting and Drama.
Sally performs with Bumper Blyton, The Committee, Actor's Nightmare and Stephen Frost's Impro All Stars. She has trained at iO, UCB and Second City.
Alison is the author of The Improv Book. She has performed in Newman & Baddiel in Pieces (BBC2), presented on The Travel Show (BBC2) and toured internationally with Weird Sisters theatre company.
Monica hosts Hoopla's main weekend shows and the Hoopla pre-party for new acts. She performs improv in Derek's Mojo. She trained in Community Theatre at East 15 Drama School.
Jenny performs improv with the award winning Maydays and The Impromptu Shakespeare Company. She trained at ACT in Brighton and with iO Chicago.
Rory performs in Music Box The Improvised Musical, one of our most popular shows. He trained at Drama Studio London.
Jonah performs with Bumper Blyton the Improvised Enid Blyton Adventure. He trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He also trained with Keith Johnstone.
Liam performs with The Science of Living Things, Fright Night and The Improvised Crystal Maze and directs many of our new shows. He has trained at UCB and iO.
Heather performs with the award winning Maydays, Olivier award winning Showstoppers and Bumper Blyton. She has trained at iO Chicago.
Steve is the Director and co-founder of Hoopla and has been teaching improv for over 14 years. He has trained with Keith Johnstone, Charna Halpern from iO, UCB & more.
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 as part of a team.
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!
- Making the other person look good.
- Supporting each other on stage.
- Active listening and awareness.
- Being in the moment.
- Creative Collaboration.
- Accepting and building on offers.
- Agreement instead of conflict.
- Being obvious instead of trying too hard to be funny.
- Making creativity simple by being obvious.
- Being honest in the moment.
- Improvising realistic scenes.
- Going for it. Improvising carefree.
- Playing and having fun with mistakes.
- Playing without fear.
- Confidence on stage.
- Physical characters.
- Emotions, reactions, being altered.
- Playing with status, voice and movement.
- Fun simple scene structures.
- Establishing a location in scenes.
- Establishing character and relationship in scenes.
- Lots of fun short-form games.
- Confidence with being in front of an audience.
- Having fun with improvising as part of a team.
I have no previous improv, comedy or acting experience? Is that OK?
Yes. This course assumes no previous knowledge and you don't need any previous experience of improv, comedy or acting to take part. Most of the other people on the course will be complete beginners.
Who is this suitable for?
Total beginners to improvisation, acting or comedy, or people who’ve only ever done a few improv workshops before.
What comes before the beginners improv course?
There's no pre-requisite, this is our best course to start with. 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.
How much improv or acting should I have done before doing this course?
You don’t need to have done anything at all before starting this course. No experience is necessary.
Is there a follow on course to this course?
Yes. The follow on course is our Level 2: Performance Improv Course.
What if I’ve already done some improv?
What if I can’t make every week?
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.
What if I’m running late?
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.
Do I have to perform in front of an outside audience?
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.
What is the class size?
The group size is going to be limited to 16 people and is usually about 12-14 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.
What ages is it for?
We are open to all ages over 18. Impro is suitable for all ages, we’ve had everyone from 18 to over 80. It’s physical but not more physical than normal every day life, and you are welcome to take a break whenever you want or sit out of exercises you don’t think would be suitable.
Is it like public speaking or stand up?
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. It does help public speaking, as you will get used to thinking on your feet and being comfortable in front of an audience, but that's not the main aim of the course.
What kind of people do your courses?
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.
Are the courses accessible to people who use a wheelchair?
Yes. If you use a wheelchair please contact us at time of booking and we will make sure your course is an accessible venue. We are happy to work with you to make all the games we play accessible.
Is this course suitable for people who have English as a second language?
Our courses are very international so we do have many students who have English as a second language, 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.
Do you do prices for concessions?
Yes. We want to make improv available to everyone so don't want price to be a barrier. If you are a student, unemployed or on low income please contact us and we will be able to arrange something.
Does it matter what teacher I have?
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.
What makes this different from other courses?
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.
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!
We heart you! Such a fun 8 weeks and such great people! I shall be seeing you again!
Thank you for an awesome session this eve. Haven't laughed this much on a Monday eve for years 🙂
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.
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.
Great improv workshop with @hooplaimpro couldn't stop smiling from beginning until end!
The workshop was just so much fun with an amazing teacher.
Inspiring, hilarious and richly rewarding. The workshop brightened up everyone's morning. The whole experience was a true pleasure and hugely helpful.
Have I mentioned that I’m Learning Improv with @hooplaimpro and it is the best thing ever? Because I am and it is.