Do you have something to say but find it difficult? Do you think it’s funny but you don’t feel sure? Do you want to create a show but have no idea where to start? These are all skills you can learn in this unique series of intimate workshops on acting through comedy, retaining the self while playing heightened characters, physicality, narration and turning a solo story into something funny.
Beth Vyse is a performer, director and practitioner. She has worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Arcola, Sheffield Crucible to mention but a few. She’s also been in TV shows such as Spooks, A Touch of Frost, Holby City and on BBC Radio 4 and the Dr Who series. She has created three critically acclaimed Edinburgh Shows all with transfers to Soho Theatre, Latitude and New Zealand Comedy Festival plus a National Tour with As Funny As Cancer. (“The queen pin of weirdos comedy” Chortle.) She has directed and taught at LAMDA, Manchester Met, Rose Bruford, The Urdang, The Centre and Soho Theatre.
Classes will be on Sundays from 2-5pm running from the 15th January including a live showcase. The course lasts 10 weeks and each session runs at 3 hours long. In the tenth week Beth will hire a venue in the centre of London where you will all perform 10mins of the work you’ve created. She will invite all her industry contacts, you have guest speakers throughout the course, and she will give you all the tools to create a funny, and perhaps moving, piece of theatreThe 10 wk course will be available for only 20 people at £250 each.
Guest Lecturers include:
JOHN KEARNS (2 time Foster Award Winner) on creating an award winning show.
PAUL FOXTROT on improv and its importance when creating a show.
PAT CAHILL Prop maker and comedian on the practical side of making strange comedy.
To apply please send us a reason to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com as to why you want to do the course including how long you have been working in the arts and bit of background about yourself. Any clips of your work. Your favourite comedian/performer and why. A funny short story about yourself. No more than a half a page.
Using practical exercises, discussion and real life examples- Meryl will help you find YOUR funny and hand you the tools to be a productive joke writer.
A professional comedian Meryl has also written for high profile TV panel shows, magazines, radio and stand up shows; and collaborated with acts as diverse as Frankie Boyle, Juliette Burton and Rayguns Look Real Enough.
“Many thanks to Meryl O’Rourke, who had a look through a couple of early passages, and just generally for being inspiringly funny.” Frankie Boyle, in ‘Work!Consume!Die!’
‘Meryl has a brilliant comic mind, and taught me how to approach joke writing from a fresh angle’ Suzy Bennett
Course open to all aged 16+. One day drop ins for experienced comedy writers only.
Please bring plenty of paper and a pen – also anything else that helps YOU write…tablet, ideas book…
Course will feature group work, one to one tutorials and homework.
Meryl just completed a 10 month intensive sitcom writing programme with producers from Big Talk and The BBC after winning the Betty&Peter Sitcom award. In this course she will pass on everything she learned. What’s a beat sheet? Logline? Character arc? Sub? Treatment? And how to fit your creativity into the accepted frameworks.
“Best, and most original, pages I’ve read in years. I’m a massive fan” Dhiraj Mahey, founder of Betty&Peter Award.
Bring plenty of paper, a pen and ideas.
Whether you’re an open mic comic wanting to learn the basics of compering or a more seasoned pro keen to extend your skill set, join accomplished compere Ben Van der Velde for this four-part workshop focussing on the skills of hosting and crowd work. Learn how to keep the audience on their toes and in the palm of your hand with useful shortcuts for effective crowd work, original methods to warm-up a room, how to deal with hecklers and how to host non-comedy events. All abilities/levels of experience welcome.
Ben Van der Velde is a stand-up comedian, actor, improviser and presenter who, over the past few years has spread joy and nonsense to all four corners of the British Isles, as well as Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Norway.
He is a regular host and act for respected British comedy clubs such as The Stand, Komedia, Just the Tonic, The Backyard, Covent Garden Comedy Club, Outside the Box, Comedy Club 4 Kids, Off the Kerb and The Comedy Café, as well as hosting stages for Bestival, Festival No.6 and Sunday Papers Live. He also has experience of performing at RAF Bases, large corporate events, hosting comedy workshops and doing audience warm-up for Deal Or No Deal. On top of that, he has taken commissions to perform a voodoo re-marriage ceremony, founded the Church of the Holy Kazoo with comedy legend Mark Thomas, walked the entire London Underground network for charity and even took part in experiments at The Royal Society that revealed him to have the most infectious laugh of any human, rat or monkey.
Ben is a regular performer at the Edinburgh Festival, where he has performed three critically-acclaimed shows: Chain Letter, Strudelhead and Barbarians. This summer his show received 5 and 4 star reviews, whilst several of jokes made it into lists of ‘Best Joke at the Fringe’ compiled by The Scotsman, i-News and The Huffington Post.
“Whipsharp…with an air of mischievous mayhem…his hit rate is impressive, while his in-the-moment style creates a buzz of excitement in the room…a life-giving compere.” Chortle
“Highly promising…an accomplished comic.” Time Out
“Wonderfully improvised riffs showcasing his impressive spontaneity and sharp tongue.” Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
“Exquisite comic timing…wonderfully clownish physical comedy.” British Theatre Guide