Where's the best place to start if I've already done a 1-2 levels of improv training somewhere else?
If you've already done a couple of improv levels somewhere else you are welcome to start directly at our Level 3 Scenes Improv Course. Scenes are fundamental to all improv forms and shows, so this level is a great grounding in the Hoopla style of improv: playful, spontaneous, character and relationship driven improvisation.
I've done Drama School but we didn't do much improv there, what level should I start on?
Our Level 3 Scenes Course is becoming really popular with actors, as it focuses on improvised scenes in their purest form. Scenes are the building blocks for all forms of improv, and also this style of improv is the most helpful for the improv bit of commercial auditions. In this course we focus on improvising by finding character and relationships and improvising from the heart, so it should be in synch with your drama school training.
Where should I start if I have no improv or acting experience?
Our Level 1 Beginners Improv Course is the best place to start. You don't need any previous experience of improv, comedy or acting to take place in this one. It is genuinely designed for complete beginners.
Do I need to start from Level 1 if I have previous improv or acting training?
No. We don't make people start from scratch, you are welcome to join at the level you think would be most suited to you. There are more decisions to help with this in our other FAQs below, or contact us if you aren't sure.
Where's the best place to start if I've already done LOADS of long-form improv training?
Probably our Level 5 Advanced Long-Form Courses would be suitable. These are designed to expand the horizons of the London improv scene and encourage improvisers to do more than one format and be brave and keep pushing the art-form. We may have a different style from other training you've done, as we're more about improvising from the heart, so our teachers are really adaptable and will happily help you get into the Hoopla spirit of things. You could also start at a lower level if you'd prefer, we're happy to be flexible and you can change levels if needed.
Can I start straight at the advanced levels?
Yes. If you have enough experience of long-form improv and are confident at improvised scenes, characters, relationships and editing scenes together. If you aren't sure you can contact us and we're happy to help out and discuss what's best for you.
I've done Drama School but want to have a practice before doing one of your higher level courses, how do I do that?
If I start at one level can I change to another one?
Yes. We are always happy to be flexible with bookings and we want what is best for you. If you start at one level and you want to move to a higher or lower one please let us know and we will move you at no extra charge, subject to availability.
I used to do improv but haven't done it for ages, how do I get back into it?
We have drop-ins every week that are great way to practice and get back into it before starting a course, and to find our what level might be best for you. We also have beginners taster classes which will give you a quick recap of the basics. For courses you'd be welcome to start at the level you feel comfortable with, usually Level 2 or Level 3 if you've done some improv before then had a break, and you can always change levels at no charge if you want to.
I've done improv before but I haven't done long-form before, where should I start?
Our Level 3 or Level 4 course. Level 3 is great for scene work, Level 4 is great at then connecting those scenes together to create an entire long-form show from just one suggestion.
I've done your beginners course or a similar amount somewhere else, what should I do next?
The best next step is getting on stage and performing, and our Level 2 Short-Form Course is great at this because it supports you into doing a show for the first time and gives you a great first experience of performing improv for the first time.
What is Hoopla's improv style?
Play! Most of all we make improv fun & friendly. We encourage playful spontaneous improvisation. We are especially good at character and relationship based improv, improvising from the heart! In workshops we encourage you to get out of your head and lead with emotion, movement and play.
Are there lots of performing opportunities at Hoopla?
Yes. Loads. We run auditions for our house teams every 1-2 months, which gives you the chance to rehearse and perform with the same team each week with a director. We also have multiple nights for groups that have formed at our courses to build up stage time and experience. We even have a full-time producer employed by us to help give our students ongoing performance opportunities and support after courses. We also have jams twice a week where anybody can come along, sign up, and get on stage and perform. Performing Opportunities at Hoopla
Do you do concession rates?
Yes. We do half-price or free courses for people who are unemployed, on low income, full-time students, under 23 and more: Concessions.
Do you encourage people from different backgrounds?
Yes. In fact it's our main reason for being. Improv is for everyone and we encourage people of all genders, nationalities, ethnic backgrounds and sexuality. We are engaged in a number of programs to encourage people from different backgrounds into improv, including shows, workshops and more. More details are in our diversity and accessibility policy.
What styles of show do you do?
All improv. We wouldn't want to go to a pizza restaurant and have garlic bread as the only option. We really want to inspire the London improv scene to open up and enjoy the full range of possibilities that exist with improv. And we want to inspire the future of improv, to go beyond existing styles and constantly invent new shows. So at our advanced levels we help improvisers explore all improv formats including Improvised Theatre, Improvised Movies, Deconstructions, Harolds, Character, Narrative, Improvised Musicals and more.
How do your courses connect together?
Level 1 teaches the foundations of improv: Listening, Yes And, Being Obvious, Commitment, Spontaneity and Play. Our Level 2 uses short-form games to help improvisers experience and develop professional improv skills through play, especially character, emotion and spontaneity. In Level 3 you take these skills and apply them to performing longer scenes based around characters and relationships. In Level 4 you learn how to connect scenes together to create an entire long-form show from one suggestion. In Level 5 you then get to experience every improv show format under the sun, and become the improviser you want to be! After that we have loads of ongoing performing opportunities and ongoing support for our students.
How come you teach both short-form and long-form?
Because they are connected. In the 1960s Viola Spolin (in Chicago) and Keith Johnstone (in England) were both trying to teach acting and help actors improvise plays. They found that fear and lack of listening were getting in the way of spontaneity and the actors ability to collaborate in the moment. So they both developed games to help actors learn by doing rather than thinking. These games over the years had spin offs that became short-form, but the purpose of the games was to teach the skills needed to actually improvise long-form theatre. At Hoopla we use games in the earlier levels as we believe it's through play that people can learn to listen on stage, remove fear, and be spontaneous, and it is this learning through doing that enables them to become amazing long-form improvisers in later levels and shows. So short-form and long-form aren't chalk and cheese, they are cheese and toast.
Do you do auditions to get into each level?
No. The role of the teacher is to change the person, not to judge them.
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.