Cabaret & Drag Lab

Autumn 2023
Want to try out a drag alter-ego, give lip-syncing a go or step into London’s cabaret scene for the first time?

Our 10-week Cabaret & Drag Lab is a supportive environment taking participants through exercises and games to generate material and develop skills to create a new short set or act. The goal of the course is to create your own 3.5-minute set which you will perform at the end of term, in front of a live and supportive audience.

The Cabaret and Drag group meet weekly on Saturdays, with a public sharing on the final session which will take place on a Monday evening, where you’ll be able to showcase what you’ve learned over the course in a safe environment, at our very own Soho Theatre.


Stand Up Lab – is for complete beginners. Total newbies. Absolute rookies.

Sketch Lab – for anyone who wants to give sketch a go. Lots of collaborative practical work focused on writing and performing together.

Comedy Lab Plus – is for people who have been gigging on the circuit for a while, have done around 30+ gigs.

Cabaret & Drag Lab – for newbies or anyone looking to develop their cabaret and drag skills.

All the labs are 18+ with no upper age limit.

Each 10 week programme costs £125.

Payment information will be sent along with the course offer. We also have a limited amount of full and half bursaries available for people on government benefits, which you can select on the application form.

For Comedy Lab Plus, yes. But for any others – absolutely not, complete newbies are very welcome.

You are welcome to apply for our courses from outside of London, as long as you can easily get to Soho Theatre (Dean Street, London, W1D 3NE) for each weekly workshop, some of which start at 10am.

We recommend checking your travel options before submitting an application, unfortunately we are not able to assist with travel costs. Due to the performative and collaborative nature of these courses, we are unable to offer them as zoom sessions. If your route into Soho is frequently impacted by strike action, you may want to consider applying at a later stage.

It’s really helpful for us to get to know people through their application answers, so we’d recommend using up your whole word count /video time limit and answer in as much detail as you can.

We appreciate people just being themselves, there’s no need to try to impress us, just be open and honest in your answers about why you want to take part. If you have some topics, themes or ideas for a set you want to make, feel free to share your ideas with us. If you’re applying for Sketch, it’s helpful for us to know why you want to collaborate with other creatives.

You can apply to more than one course if you want to, just submit one application and select the courses you’re interested in, talking through each of them in your answers.

Yes, once you have submitted your application through the form (the link to the application form appears on each lab webpage) and you have reached the ‘thank you for taking the time to apply’ page, you should receive a confirmation email directly from Typeform within 24 hours. Sometimes these may end up in junk/spam, so do check there too.

In the application form, we’ve indicated the three questions that help us learn a bit about you. You’re welcome to type these out, or answer via video, whichever you prefer.

If you’d like to go for the video option, simply film yourself answering the questions, stopping between each one. The idea is you have a separate video for each answer. Then upload this onto YouTube (there’s a ‘create’ or + button for web or the app, followed by an ‘upload video’ option). Be sure to set your privacy settings so those with a link can watch the video and then copy and paste the link as your answer.

If we are able to offer an applicant a place on one of our courses, the offer is only applicable for the term specified. We are unable to defer places, but we strongly encourage people re-apply again in future, if they are unsuccessful, or unable to accept a course offer.

The application form works best from a computer, but you can also complete it on a smartphone or tablet. For the open questions, you can also submit your answer by video, by pasting the online video link in the answer box.

For other support regarding the application form, please email

Here are the list of questions on the application, in case you’d like to see them in advance:

1-What is your name?

2-What email address can we contact you on?

3- What’s the best phone number to reach you on?

4- Which Lab(s) are you applying for? (multiple choice)

5- If you selected writers lab, please attach 1-2 pages of script sample here, as a Word or PDF doc.

6-What interests you about the course(s) you’re applying for? (300 words, for a text answer, or 3 minute video link)

7- Have you had any connection with Soho Theatre before? For instance, have you seen any of our shows, taken part in any other Labs or taster workshops, or applied to our labs before? (200 words, for a text answer, or 2 minute video link)

8- Have you been involved in creative writing/theatre/comedy/cabaret before? For instance, through studying, performing, or as a hobby? (200 words, for a text answer, or 2 minute video link)

9- If applying for Comedy Lab Plus, we would love to watch 3-5 minutes of your material, please provide a video link below.

10- Do you require a bursary in order to take part in the Lab(s) you are applying to? (Yes/No)

11- If yes, please let us know which bursaries you are eligible for. (multiple choice)

12- If you require a bursary, please let us know a little bit about your circumstances.

13- Where did you hear about Soho Theatre Labs?

As we are a charity, the following questions are to do with equal opportunities data which our funders request.

14- Do you live in London? (Yes/No)

15- If you live in London please let us know which borough you live in. (multiple choice)

16- If you don’t live in London, please let us know which town or City you live in.

17- How do you describe your gender? (multiple choice)

18- How do you describe your sexual orientation? (multiple choice)

19- What will your age be at the beginning of term?

20- Please describe your ethnic origin. (multiple choice)

21- What was the occupation of the main/highest income earner in your household when you were 14? (multiple choice)

22- Do you consider yourself to be disabled?

23- If yes- please let us know how you describe yourself. (multiple choice)

Thank you, you should receive a confirmation email once you have submitted, we aim to respond to all applicants

Once offers are made, participants are able to confirm their place by email and by making their course payment. We do recommend applicants check course dates before applying and make sure they are able to commit to the full course programme, before accepting a place. We are sometimes able to accommodate participants who may miss 1-2 sessions, but participants must be available for the first session. We are not able to offer refunds to participants once payments have been made.

Supported by

Arts Council England

Visit Dean Street

We’re bang in the centre of the creative heart of the city. There’s many buses, tubes, taxis, bikes and scooters to get you here. See all your options on Google Maps. Nearest tubes are the Central Line and Northern Line (Tottenham Court Road) and the Elizabeth Line (Tottenham Court Road – Dean Street exit).

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