• fun and playful Harolds!

Harold improv course

An advanced course to learn how to perform The Harold in a fun and playful spontaneous Hoopla style with Katy Schutte. 8 week course with a performance at the end.

The Harold is a long-form improv format originally invented by Del Close in the 1960s and then further developed by Del Close and Charna Halpern at iO Theatre in Chicago in the 1980s. Their work inspired improvisers like John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey and a lot of modern sitcoms are based on Harold structures.

The format involves exploring three different worlds from a fun opening and revisiting those scenes and characters to explore connections, patterns and themes that emerge like magic for the audience.

Katy Schutte has studied with the co-founder of The Harold format Charna Halpern (iO), who is also director of The iO Theatre Chicago and author of Truth in Comedy. Katy has also trained with Rachael Mason (Second City), Susan Messing (Annoyance) and numerous instructors from The UCB Theatre, NYC.

She is now running a course to combine these different styles with her own unique take on The Harold. We aim is to help you perform a Harold that is fun and funny while exploring themes, emotions, relationships and deeper theatrical ideas.

We will teach a variety of styles and techniques for performing The Harold, giving you the freedom to choose what works for you and what you enjoy.

Most of all we aim to make performing The Harold feel fun, playful and joyous without having to worry about the structure or rules when performing.

Harold from the heart.

dates, time, location

Date: Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 11th September 2019, with show on Monday 4th November 2019. BOOK NOW

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm.

Teacher: Katy Schutte.

Price: £230. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £100 followed by the remaining £130 once the course starts.

Venue: St. Hugh’s Hall, corner of Crosby Row and Porlock Street, London Bridge, .

Tube: London Bridge.


Only suitable for people with previous long-form improv experience. If you haven’t got previous long-form experience it’s best to do our level 3 and level 4 improv course first.

teacher 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 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.


We’ll be covering a variety of topics and themes over the course, and also responding to the needs of the group.

Weeks 1 and 2:

  • Bonding the group as a team.
  • Revisiting improv scene basics.
  • Who/What/Where.
  • Introducing vocabulary of The Harold.
  • Structure of The Harold.
  • Physical openings.

Weeks 3,4,5:

  • Different ways to link scenes.
  • Tangential scene jumps.
  • Thematic scene jumps.
  • Narrative scene jumps.
  • Heightening scenes and character.
  • Different styles of scenes including funny, relationship, theatrical, emotional, world view scenes.
  • Scenes that reflect society.
  • Playing and resting games.
  • Reincorporating and call backs.
  • Group games.
  • Variety of openings to start a show.
  • Discovering themes and patterns.
  • How to find and ending.

Weeks 6,7,8:

  • Running lots of Harolds with helpful notes from Katy.
  • Performing Harolds without thinking about it and without worrying about structure.
  • Perform Harolds in a fun, playful, flowing and joyous way.

The exact topics and themes will vary depending on the group and will be developed as the course goes on.