How to improvise satirical scenes based on the news of the day and make fun of people in power.
Satire in the UK has a rich history including The Establishment with Peter Cook in the 1960s, The Comedy Store and The Comic Strip with Alexei Sayle and co. in the early 1980s, Spitting Image in the 1980s and 1990s, and The Day Today and Brass Eye in the 1990s.
In our opinion a lot of satire has lost its edge and impact since then, at the exact point it is needed most. But we want to help bring brave biting satire back into mainstream comedy.
Is this crazy new world beyond satire? No, it needs it more than ever.
Right now coming together and collaborating with people of all backgrounds is itself a political act. You have the right to criticise and make fun of people in power. They are doing propaganda on you afterall, so now is your time to flip it around and get revenge!
A 4 week course to inspire people to improvise and devise scenes based on the news of the day, and take improv beyond pineapples and spatulas.
No previous experience of satire needed but you will need previous improv experience. If you haven’t done improv before it is best to start with our beginners improv course.
dates, time, location
Dates: Every Thursday for 4 weeks from Thursday 6th August 2020. BOOK NOW
Time: 7pm – 9pm each week.
Teacher: James Witt.
Venue: Online using zoom. All details for login for zoom will be emailed to participants on the day of the first workshop.
This course is online:
1. Book your place on this page.
2. On the day of the first workshop we will email you a log-in for the zoom chat.
3. You then click on the link in the email to join the zoom chat and enter the password.
4. You will just need a laptop with camera and internet connection, everything else will be in the link. Laptops work better than ipads and phones for improv over Zoom.
5. Don’t worry if you haven’t used Zoom before, we start the first session with an overview of how to use it.
James is co-director of Dreamweaver Quartet, Hoopla’s most popular show.
He recently appeared in the hit Edinburgh show Brexit the Musical as Boris Johnson. He has also performed in satirical sketch show NewsRevue, the world’s longest running live comedy show.
James previously directed This is Soap the improvised soap opera at The Edinburgh Fringe.
He trained in Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting and Drama at the University of Birmingham.
He founded Dreamweaver Quartet in 2017 and has rapidly grown it to be one of London’s most popular improv shows.
Other improv credits include Music Box, Newsical the improvised topical news show, Shakespeare for Breakfast, Story Kitchen.
TV and film credits include Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The Infidel, White Teeth and Murder in Mind and also appearing as comedy idol Eric Morecambe in commercials.
In addition, James regularly teaches, performs and writes satirical short films with Hoopla.
James will be teaching a variety of great tools to help create satirical scenes in improv including:
- Being inspired by the day’s headlines.
- Pulling premises from newspaper articles.
- Finding the premise and game of the scene from current affairs.
- Reversing the reality.
- Exaggerating the reality.
- Characters and impressions.
- Putting topical events in contrasting settings.
- Putting topical characters in contrasting locations.
- Finding the funny and ridiculous.
- Making fun of people in power.
- Improvising and devising scenes.
We have followed government guidance to make sure all of our classes are covid-secure, while also working hard to make sure socially-distanced improv is still fun, friendly and playful! We also offer full flexibility on bookings to give you peace of mind when planning ahead.
For additional FAQs please see list below:
When do you send the zoom link?
On the day of the first workshop.
What do I need to take part?
Laptop with camera and an internet connection. Laptops work better than phones or ipads, but phones and ipads also work.
Can I transfer to this from my booking for a real-life course that has been postponed?
Yes. We don't have the tech on our website for you to do this automatically, but email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to do this and we will move your booking and payment over and refund you any difference.
Will this course keep going online if lock-down stops earlier than expected?
Yes. It will finish as an online course to make sure everyone from outside London can still make it.
Who is this suitable for?
People with previous improv or acting experience course who want to learn how to improvise satirical scenes.
How much improv or acting should I have done before doing this course?
What comes after this course?
We have a variety of other advanced improv courses that would be suitable.
What if I’m running late?
We’ll be starting each session at 7pm. This is an advanced course and we’re trying to form a team, so please don’t book this course if you are likely to be late on a regular basis.
What’s the class size?
Our workshops are usually 14 people. They are limited to 12 people while running online.
Is there an end of course show?
Not on this course because we wanted to concentrate on satire and thought an additional show format on top of this would be distracting. However we are happy to help people find performing opportunities including many at our improv comedy club.
Do I need to have previous experience of satire?
No, just improv.
Do I need to be up to date on current affairs?
No. We'll be getting up to date over the duration of the course.
Does it matter what political beliefs I have?
No. We will be looking at things from all sides, as long as it's funny.