Write and perform
professional
sketch comedy!
nmmnmn
With Gemma Arrowsmith
from  BBC1's
Tracey Ullman Show!
Script Editor on
BBC Radio 4's Newsjack!
With years of
professional
TV & Radio experience!
Join Hoopla's community
of writers and performers!

sketch comedy courses

Taught by Gemma Arrowsmith, a professional comedy writer and performer on the Emmy nominated Tracey Ullman’s show on BBC1 and Script Editor on BBC Radio 4's Newsjack!

NEW online sketch comedy course!

Learn something new during lockdown!

Each week you will be joining a small team of people over zoom to learn how to write different sketch structures using video examples, how to come up with premises for sketches, how to develop premises into amazing comedy, how to escalate patterns and games in sketches and how to develop hilarious characters.

This is specifically designed for online and will be using features like video sharing and script sharing so you can study and learn from well known TV sketches.

Our teacher has a huge amount of online experience. She was originally picked up as a professional comedy writer from her own youtube series of sketches in her flat, and went on to write one of BBC Comedy’s biggest online hits with over 35 MILLION views!

We’re even going to keep running this course after lockdown, that’s how good we think it is!

The course will also be using zoom breakout rooms and google docs to enable collaborative writing in-between sessions. You’ll also receive mentorship about the professional comedy industry, emails with additional writing resources and inspiring homework designed by a professional comedy writer.

Gemma is even using zoom right now to still attend writers meetings for various Radio 4 programmes, so this is going to be as industry specific as possible to help you write high quality professional sketches.

Then once lockdown is over you’ll be able to join Hoopla’s real-world writing and sketch group Next Level, with the chance to regular write and perform sketch comedy at their monthly show at Hoopla’s comedy club.

No previous writing experience needed, but if you are new to performing it would be best to start with our improv classes first.

next available dates

level 1: live sketch comedy

Dates: 

Every Monday for 6 weeks from Monday 6th April 2020. SOLD OUT.

Every Wednesday for 6 weeks from Wednesday 1st April 2020. SOLD OUT.

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm each week.

Price: £190.

Teacher: Gemma Arrowsmith.

Class Size: Strictly limited to just 10 people to maximise practice time.

Venue: Online over Zoom. We send you an email before each session with the Zoom meeting link. You will just need a laptop with camera to participate (laptop works better than phone or ipad).

 

Both dates are now sold out. Please contact us if you would like to be added to the waiting list for future dates.

 

No previous writing experience needed, but if you are new to performing it would be best to start with our improv classes first.

This course requires a higher commitment than our improv classes and you will need to be at each rehearsal and the show on time due to the collaborative nature of scripted rehearsed sketch comedy. You will also need to write in-between classes. You may be asked to leave the course if you are repeatedly late or miss rehearsals.

join the community!

After the course you’ll be joining a large community of Hoopla trained writers and performers to build up ongoing writing and performing experience. We have a monthly sketch night at our comedy club where you will be able to build up stage time, and also a friendly welcoming writing group made up of Hoopla’s sketch students.

sketch comedy courses

Taught by Gemma Arrowsmith, a professional comedy writer and performer on the Emmy nominated Tracey Ullman’s show on BBC1 and Script Editor on BBC Radio 4's Newsjack!

level 1: live sketch comedy

Learn how to write and perform sketch comedy. As part of a team you’ll be creating a whole new sketch show from scratch that you then perform live at our comedy club at the end of the course!

You’ll be learning about different sketch structures using video examples, how to come up with premises for sketches, how to develop premises into amazing comedy, how to escalate patterns and games in sketches, how to develop characters, how to edit sketches to find the funny and how to start your own sketch show on the live comedy scene.

You’ll also receive mentorship about the comedy industry, emails with additional writing resources and inspiring homework designed by a professional comedy writer.

At the end of the course you’ll have created a whole new sketch show together as a team that you get to perform live in front of a friendly audience at our club!

No previous writing experience needed, but if you are new to acting on stage it would be best to start with our Beginners Improv Course first.

 

level 2: radio comedy

Learn how to write professional and funny radio comedy from a professional radio comedy writer and script editor.

This course is hugely relevant to a career in radio comedy writing as you’ll be writing sketches every week for actual radio shows and will also be learning how to submit them to be considered for broadcast.

Shows we will be targeting over the course:

  • Newsjack (Radio 4)
  • The Now Show (Radio 4)
  • The Show What Your Wrote (Radio 4)
  • Release the Clowns (Podcast)
  • Sketch Please (Podcast)

All taught by Gemma Arrowsmith, a professional radio comedy writer and script editor who has successfully mentored previous Hoopla students into professionally writing for BBC Radio.

We’ll also be running a workshop on podcasting including guidance on microphones, studios, editing and releasing your own comedy podcast.

 

level 3: TV comedy

Learn how to write professional and funny TV comedy with a professional TV comedy writer/performer from the Emmy nominated Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC 1) and Tracey Breaks the News (BBC 1).

This course is hugely relevant to a career in TV comedy writing as you’ll be writing sketches every week for actual TV shows and will be learning how to progress in the comedy industry.

Shows we will be targeting over the course:

  • Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC 1)
  • Tracey Breaks the News (BBC 1)
  • Newzoids (ITV)
  • Horrible Histories (CBBC)
  • Class Dismissed (CBBC)

next available dates

level 1: live sketch comedy

Dates: 

Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 18th May 2020, plus show on Wednesday 15th July 2020. SOLD OUT.

Every Monday for 8 weeks from Monday 16th March 2020, plus show on Thursday 7th May 2020. SOLD OUT.

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm each week.

Price: £260. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £100 followed by the remaining £160 at the start of the course.

Teacher: Gemma Arrowsmith, with guest teacher for one week.

Workshop Venue: St. Hugh’s Hall, Crosby Row, London Bridge, SE1 3PT.

Tube: London Bridge.

 

No previous writing experience needed, but if you are new to performing it would be best to start with our Beginners Improv Course first.

This course requires a higher commitment than our improv classes and you will need to be at each rehearsal and the show on time due to the collaborative nature of scripted rehearsed sketch comedy. You will also need to write in-between classes. You may be asked to leave the course or not do the show if you are repeatedly late or miss rehearsals.

level 2: radio comedy

Dates: Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 18th March 2020. SOLD OUT.

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm each week.

Price: £260. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £100 followed by the remaining £160 at the start of the course.

Teacher: Gemma Arrowsmith, with guest teacher for one week.

Workshop Venue: Theatre Delicatessen Studios, 1st Floor, next to 2 Finsbury Avenue (off Whitecross Place), London, EC2M 2PA.

Tube: Liverpool Street, Moorgate or Bank.

Please only book this level if you have previously done our level 1 sketch comedy course or have previous sketch comedy writing and performing experience.

level 3: TV comedy

Dates:

Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 20th May 2020. SOLD OUT

Every Wednesday for 8 weeks from Wednesday 15th January 2020. SOLD OUT

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm each week.

Price: £260. Either payable all at once or with an initial payment of £100 followed by the remaining £160 at the start of the course.

Teacher: Gemma Arrowsmith, with guest teacher for one week.

Workshop Venue: Theatre Delicatessen Studios, 1st Floor, next to 2 Finsbury Avenue (off Whitecross Place), London, EC2M 2PA.

Tube: Liverpool Street, Moorgate or Bank.

Please only book this level if you have previously done our level 1 sketch comedy course or have previous sketch comedy writing and performing experience.

join the community!

After the course you’ll be joining a large community of Hoopla trained writers and performers to build up ongoing writing and performing experience. We have a monthly sketch night at our comedy club where you will be able to build up stage time, and also a friendly welcoming writing group made up of Hoopla’s sketch students.

Gemma Arrowsmith

Gemma is a professional comedy writer-performer. Her most recent work includes the Emmy nominated Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC 1) and Tracey Breaks the News (BBC 1). She is also script editor on Newsjack (BBC Radio 4 Extra).

Her other TV and Radio credits include Charlie Brooker’s How TV Ruined Your Life (BBC), Paul Whitehouse’s Nurse (BBC), Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish (Dave), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4), The News Quiz (BBC Radio 4), Riot Girls (Channel 4), Class Dismissed (CBBC), Bravest Warriors (Cartoon Hangover), Upstart Crow (BBC), Stath Lets Flats, Merlin (BBC), Hustle (BBC), Home Time, Spy, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (BBC) and Dead Boss amongst other things.

Gemma is also sought after in the world of kids’ TV and radio, where her credits include: Vic Reeves’ Ministry of Curious Stuff, DNN (CBBC), Hacker Time (CBBC), Beano Town (Fun Kids Radio), Relic: Guardians of the Museum (online game, CBBC), Transmission Impossible (CBBC).

She has performed in and directed Newsrevue, is half of Mould & Arrowsmith, and her one-woman shows have had successful runs at The Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton Fringe and Vaults Festival.

Her “What were you wearing?” sketch for Tracey Ullman was featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Mirror, Metro and more, with over 35 million views on Facebook and was BBC Comedy’s highest rated video of 2017.

A winner of Fringe Report Awards’ Best Artist (2007), they declared: “The award reflects Gemma Arrowsmith’s seven-threat excellence as singer, dancer, actor, comedian, writer, impressionist and director.”

Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC1)

This sketch was written by Gemma Arrowsmith and was featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Mirror, Metro and more, with over 35 million views on Facebook and was BBC Comedy’s highest rated video of 2017.

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