Stand up and deliver

OTHER COMEDY COURSES

In addition to the Absolute & Almost Beginners comedy course that happens in London up to 8 times a year (click here for details), and our Improvers courses (click here) and our business training (click here),
here's information about our other courses (sometimes full details of content are shown for reference):

How To Take Your Show To The Fringe seminar

Due to demand and excellent feedback we are delighted to again be running our seminar "How to Take Your Show to the Fringe" in London, early in the year.

We know we have the information you need, because within a few hours of last year's seminar, an e-mail arrived saying
  "I really enjoyed the seminar - what a mine of information!"
         quickly followed by another which simply said
  "Brilliant - I learned such a lot".

The seminar will again be invaluable to everyone who is thinking of putting on a show either on their own or with other performers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

Incidentally we decided to hold these seminars because so many performers struggle to make the most of what the Fringe offers, while also often damaging their pockets and positivity, so often have big regrets later.  Our motivation is that we hate seeing broken-hearted performers - it just isn't funny!

Starting to plan now avoids missed deadlines, disappointments and extra costs. So don't hesitate about coming to the seminar if you are considering putting on a show on the Edinburgh Fringe.  And if you know anyone who might be thinking of doing so, please quickly forward this information to them - or text them about it.

The start of the Fringe at the end of July may seem far in the future but it's only 140 weekdays after the seminar, so it's by no means too soon to be making plans - indeed there are already deadlines fast approaching, so leaving starting to plan until any later isn't really an option. You'll hear about Fringe experiences, specialist areas such as PR/publicity, design, print and production will be demystified, and things will be simplified/streamlined for you.

The aim is to resolve confusions and minimise mistakes, by guiding you through detail and admin so you can build a "task list" and will be aware of key deadlines.

Come along to this seminar and save its cost twenty or thirty times over!  With effort and an enjoyable show it is possible to more than cover your costs - while the same show can lose a five-figure sum which is the outcome this seminar seeks to avoid

The seminar provides an overview about performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, explains what the Edinburgh Fringe is, how it happens, and what a Fringe show can be, and then considers expectations (your venue's, the Fringe Society's, your audiences, and of course your own):

  • Timelines/deadlines: admin/artistic, such as registering, press/media, print, plus writing, rehearsals, previews and technical runthrough

  • Finding a performing space (ticketed venues or Free Fringe) - searching, negotiating/contract, expectations and what's included

  • Show formats, including criteria for various awards/competitions, and what panellists are looking for

  • Formulating the concept and developing your show: show length/show time/run, and limitations/possibilities eg technical needs/props

  • Registering your Fringe show (show name and show description - both crucially important - and artwork for Fringe programme/website)

  • Technical, PR and other support e.g. flyering, and whether you need to buy in help with production, press, directing etc.

  • A producer's role - considering whether you want/need/can afford one, or how to manage without one

  • DIY PR/publicity (as an alternative to investing in a professional PR), media contacts, and improving your chances of getting reviews

  • How an insightful, comedically tuned-in director can help a comedian who is making their Fringe debut

  • Getting an audience: flyering, PR, social media, stunts/promotional ideas, advertising, city-wide postering campaign

  • The image/impression you want your show's name, visuals, text/copy and publicity to project: matching image/text to the show's content

  • Photography, design and print (flyers, posters, programmes), plus associated text/copy on flyers, websites etc

  • Budgets and funding/sponsorship possibilities, VAT/tax and tax breaks

  • Ticket prices and discounts/offers, or potential income from Free Fringe

  • Copyright and PRS - the implications of rights to perform music or dialogue created by someone else

  • Evaluate advertising/flyposting: in the Fringe programme, Fringe website, venue programme, and magazines - and flyposting

  • Accommodation, and travel/transport

  • Maximising outcomes (eg networking/exposure, agents/talentscouts/bookers, touring, next year, other projects)

Email Courses@StandUpAndDeliver.com for full details (mentioning 'How to Take Your Show to the Fringe')

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OTHER COURSES WHICH ARE DELIVERED WHEN THERE IS SUFFICIENT DEMAND

         For details of any of these courses, email

         Courses@StandUpAndDeliver.com

Putting on your Fringe Show  Pulling the content of your show together!


Absolute & Almost Beginners
comedy course sometimes takes place during the Edinburgh Fringe. (Courses usually take place in London)

ACME comedy writing course at the Edinburgh Fringe:
Improve your comedy and joke-writing skills, including stand-up, sketches, sitcoms, improv etc.  Led by experienced Comedy Store and BAFTA-winning comedians/writers, visiting producers, and special guests such as Barry Cryer explaining about writing for other comedians.

Comedy Development courses for graduates of Absolute and Almost Beginners courses, building on the beginners course, and includes a seminar about self-promotion etc.

Professional Development will be of interest to comedians and other performers who want input from respected and informed professionals in different fields to provide participants with vision and direction, in order to drive their careers forward.  The origins of this series of seminars were one-day Advanced Courses on the themes of "Getting Funnier", "Standing Out As A StandUp" and "Practicalities".
Sessions will be masterclasses as well as seminars, and some will be led by industry people with international reputations.
Participants can attend particular seminars or the entire series - though some masterclasses may have restricted access due to the level and/or intensive practical nature of the seminars.
Some will be bigger picture stuff, covering the avenues that might be opened up.
Others will be cracking new areas of endeavour and maximising those outside the UK eg USA, and international festivals.

Compering: The sessions are led by experienced comperes who are very much in demand as a comperes and stand-ups across the country and abroad, and who are very aware of the different styles and approaches employed by themselves and others.
Their expertise and experience is huge in clubs and theatres, comedy festivals worldwide, and hosting corporate events too. They've all been on television too of course.
This thorough practical and theoretical series of seminars will include preparation, room/audience management, delivering what promoters expect, and adapting your stand-up style to the role of compere.
Four sessions led by three highly respected but very different comperes, which is specifically for gigging comedians who wish to develop this valuable skill which involves getting the audience on side, and will increase your spontaneity too.
Compering ability can increase work opportunities and open the door to performing in some clubs which would otherwise not be possible for some while. Compering skill is important for the well paid "warm-up" in television too. So follow the example of virtually every currently successful comedian - they have all followed the compering route during their career.

Improvised sketch development: Eight sessions were led last time by Phil Whelan (who is a key member of Spontaneous Combustion and Theatresports who have international status, as well as playing bass in Bill Bailey's band, Beergut 100) who has a big reputation for sketch/shortform work, brings energy and realworld experience to writing routines, sketches, scenes, character pieces and riffs in sitcoms, using improv principles and spontaneity along with more formal approaches. He will get you thinking: Who are your characters, where are they and what are they doing? And about using status as a tool to help create characters, and using emotion as well as humour to avoid the danger of running out of steam because laughs aren't necessarily just in the jokes. And you'll learn more about breaking the routine, raising the stakes and re-incorporation, and so on.

Phil's writing and script editing credits include Saturday Live, Jack Docherty Show, Spike Night, The 11 O'Clock Show, Recommended Daily Allowance, Brian Conley Show, Live Floor Show, Comic Relief and Your Face or Mine

Comedy writing course
from creating jokes right through to sitcoms etc

The first of our comedy writing workshops was delivered by Robin Ince, with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant amongst his guest speakers.

StandUp & Deliver's Comedy Writing course in London encompasses a wide range of comedy writing from standup through sketches, to a broad sweep of radio/television and stage shows (such as Edinburgh Fringe) - everything from topical one-liners to major writing projects, and will look at how to approach subject matter, structure of jokes and sketches (two key aspects from which all else flows), putting those into script format, plus advice from radio and television people who commission programmes, and also professional comedy writers and performers. Recommendations will be made about which programmes to watch and listen to, in order to get a feel for those shows, so that submissions you make later in the course will suit those programmes. 2004/5's course was so successful that four of the participants are now, as a direct result, commissioned writers for BBC radio.

Naturally a significant outcome is that many participants will enhance their writing skills for their own stand-up comedy and sketches too, and for many people this course will be the foundation stone for writing their first solo Edinburgh Fringe show. At the end of the course those who wish to do so can attend sketch development workshops which will have directoral and producer input, resulting in a sketch showcase (which may include some short monologues and solo pieces). Indeed A M Entertainments which is associated with AmusedMooseComedy may be willing to produce the show on the Edinburgh Fringe throughout August.

To enrol you are expected to have performed your own stand-up and/or sketches, thereby having some experience of performing material you were involved in creating. Those without any idea about the basics of writing comedy should as a minimum do a stand-up course first and perform for a while before progressing to this course (eg an Absolute & Almost Beginners comedy course - plus some openspot gigs) to get the most from it.

Graduates from previous writing courses have had radio shows commissioned for example, three participants on the last course are now commissioned writers for the BBC, and to quote David Bloom on the previous course: "I've had worked performed on Parsons and Naylor on Radio 2 and a play staged at the Hampstead Theatre, wrote my Edinburgh show for 2005, and been accepted onto the screenwriting course at the most prestigious film school in Europe, The National School of Film and Television, as well as writing and performing more stand-up than ever. I'm not sure that the course can take ALL the credit for that, but it certainly helped!"

There will be ten sessions of approximately 3 hours, followed by a short run of workshops on weekend afternoons and an evening, preliminary to the optional sketch showcase.

PART 1:

SESSIONS 1-3 was led last time by Sally Holloway who is exceptional for making uninspired writers pick up their pen, free their minds and get something down on paper. The first session will briefly recap how to variously structure gags, as well as the unexpected twist, callbacks and all the other tricks of the trade ... plus explaining and demonstrating what makes stuff accessible, and then moves onto topical one-liners (more demanding than the observational).

These sessions develop into how to amalgamate, stretch and link those into two or three minutes of oneliners and short pieces around the same subject, as a way of building them into a really strong stand-up set for example or radio piece which may - or quite likely may not - end up being topical throughout or predominantly topical, but has used that as a starting point. Short on-line submission and feedback between the sessions.

Sally Holloway was very recently comedy writing mentor on I Want 2B Comedy, topical writer for The 11 O'Clock Show, regular panellist on BBC radio's The Treatment and many other radio shows/stations covering wacky news stories.

SESSIONS 4 & 5: How to write "a good bit" was led last time by Phil Whelan. Phil (who is a key member of Spontaneous Combustion and Theatresports who have international status, as well as playing bass in Bill Bailey's band, Beergut 100) has a big reputation for sketch/shortform work and brings energy an realworld experience to writing routines, sketches, scenes, character pieces and riffs in sitcoms, using improv principles and spontaneity along with more formal approaches. He will get you thinking: Who are your characters, where are they and what are they doing?  And about using status as a tool to help create characters, and using emotion as well as humour to avoid the danger of running out of steam because laughs aren't necessarily just in the jokes. And you'll learn more about breaking the routine, raising the stakes and re-incorporation, and so on.  Submission of short pieces on-line between sessions 4 and 5 and after session 5, for feedback.
Phil's writing and script editing credits include Saturday Live, Jack Docherty Show, Spike Night, The 11 O'Clock Show, Recommended Daily Allowance, Brian Conley Show, Live Floor Show, Comic Relief and Your Face or Mine

PART 2

SESSION 6 was led last time by Dave Cohen, Comic Heritage "Best Young Writer" Award 2001, main writer on award winning Bremner, Bird & Fortune, and writer on awardwinning Dead Ringers, Sunday Format, Have I Got News For You, First Impressions, News Quiz, and 11 O'Clock Show; in 1984 he was nominated for the Perrier Award, and in 1985 he founded The Comedy Store Players with Paul Merton and Mike Myers.
Dave says "by the end of these sessions, providing some work has been done in between, participants will have something to show to a producer though it may subsequently need work, but by that stage they will have been directly introduced to the process. If the participants turn up with an idea for something they'd like to put on the radio and they can do some homework, it may be possible to develop it and even put it into the commissioning process".

SESSION 7 and 8: Script Development. Details tbc, but input from a script reader/doctor and commissioning editor is anticipated, and Paul Kerensa has already confirmed that he will be present --- his experience is typical as he has moved into writing/editing for the BBC from being a stand-up. Jo Caulfield may again come along to brief course participants and request submissions for her radio show, which last year resulted in three of those becoming commissioned BBC writers.

SESSION 9 was led last time by Nick Revell, who has Sony, BAFTA, British Comedy Award and an international Emmy on his mantelpiece plus a Perrier nomination, and writing credits for awardwinning Drop The Dead Donkey, Million Pound Radio Show, Sunday Format, Friday Night Live, and The Nick Revell Show. Nick will provide an overview of everything so far, and cover general points, pulling the threads together, and talk about Open Door programmes such as Parsons & Naylor's Pullout Sections. Plus a Q & A so the participants can cover anything that remains outstanding for them.

Nick is hopeful that there will also be some industry people who can talk sense from the other side of the desk. Nick's guests on previous courses have included Ed Morrish producer of BBC's Where Did It All Go Wrong and New Comedy Awards, and Seamus Cassidy who as Head of Comedy at Channel 4 was responsible for bringing Father Ted to our screens, and whose most recent project is This Is Ireland for BBC/ChannelX.

SESSION 10: The Master Class:
Stephen Merchant led this last time - he was such a great hit at the final session of the previous two courses has agreed, dependent on availability - with a couple of other writers from somewhat different areas of work - to share his experiences about the whole business of writing and getting your work made and transmitted.


Stephen is co-writer of The Office and Extras, but before that in 2002 he directed Last Chancers for C4 Comedy Lab having appeared in 1998 in C4's Comedy Lab Golden Years which was a project of Ricky's, with some very promising stand-up between times.  The main focus of this session will include television/radio sitcom and possibly big project (show or play) writing, with reflective advice about submitting your work and the commissioning process etc.

SHOWCASE:
Workshop ideas over the next few weekend afternoons, including a dress rehearsal after one with a director present who will give notes afterwards and decide with the producer on the format, content and performers of the New Writers Showcase

Coaching for individuals on a 1-2-1 basis, and for small sketch groups and other groups who wish to write/perform together, in areas such as:

  • Stand-up
  • Compering
  • Topical comedy writing
  • Gag and one-liner writing
  • Sitcom writing
  • Improv games
  • Formal sketch writing
  • Improvised sketch writing
  • Improving performance
  • Storytelling
  • Presentation
  • Confidence building/overcoming stagefright
  • Getting noticed/self-promotion and career development
  • Producing and touring

Directors are available to work on shows, solo performances and events etc.

For details of any of these courses, email Courses@StandUpAndDeliver.com

For details of The Absolute and Almost Beginners comedy course in London click here, for Improvers courses click here, and for business training click here