Got some things to get off your chest? Has your neighbour just brought a rooster for lockdown and given you an unwanted 3am wake up call?

Let it all out on our six week online stand-up comedy lab. You can do all 6 online sessions or pick the one (s) right for you. From learning how to generate material to finding your comic voice. Day one: Living room. Some time in the future: the stage.

All workshops led by Gemma Leader.

We have a number of full bursaries available to cover the cost for anyone unemployed or claiming Universal Credit or other benefits at the moment. Please email if you’d like to make a bursary request.



1 –  Generating Material – Sat 14 Nov
Learn writing games to generate material, identify joke structures and how to use them and start writing a stand-up set, for performance on stage, or online.

2 – Finding Your Voice/Comic Personae – Sat 21 Nov
Talk about a comedian’s ‘voice’ and look at the various comic archetypes and how they work. Consider how to develop a comedic persona, using games and performance techniques.

 3 – Structuring a Set/Building Towards a Full Show – Sat 28 Nov
Examine how to structure a stand-up set, starting with 5 minutes, for the open mic circuit, 10 and 20 minute club sets and building towards a full length show.

 4 – Drafting, Redrafting and Editing – Sat 5 Dec
Look at how to edit and redraft your set, using games and writing techniques. 

5 – The Industry & The Audience – Sat 12 Dec
Discuss the industry. What is the open mic circuit like? How is the comedy industry adapting to the current situation. What happens when live comedy moves online? Consider the audience and how to manage them. 

6 – Performance Techniques – Sat 19 Dec
Develop and refine your comedy performance techniques, for both on stage and online performances.


This is an online event. Bookers will be emailed on a link to the workshop one hour  in advance of their session.




Gemma Leader is an actor/producer, with theatre and film experience.  She has performed as a stand up and sketch comedian, taking shows to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and elsewhere in the UK.  As a facilitator, Gemma currently leads Soho Theatre’s Stand Up Lab. At Park Theatre, Gemma taught acting to adults, as part of the Park Theatre Players and ran intensive, weeklong devising courses for young people.  Gemma is passionate about developing new work and is a dramaturg and script editor for emerging playwrights and comedy writers.  In 2019, Gemma started Above Your Nerve, a Theatre Company specialising in new writing and comedy and dedicated to finding and nurturing unheard voices, especially from underrepresented groups.

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