TV and radio comedy: create and perform it part 2

Create your own original comedy in our TV and Radio studio. Explore The Fast Show(IF), Harry Enfield(IF), Smack the Pony(IF), Goodness Gracious Me(IF), Chris Morris, League of Gentlemen(IF), Alan Partridge(IF), Catherine Tate and be inspired.

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Key course information

13/01/15 - 31/03/15


12 weeks

18:15 - 21:15

Fees ?
Full fee: £290
Senior fee: £290
Concession: £177

KS - Keeley Street

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Course code

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Call enrolments: 020 7831 7831

Download form and post Still got questions? or call 020 7492 2542

Course outline

What is the course about?

With tutor Chris Head you will be watching, analysing and discussing TV and radio comedy – and producing projects of your own in the TV & radio studio.
This term (which can stand alone) we are exploring sketch shows with running characters and looking at shows that went into more psychologically dark territory – the 'shocks' of the title. We will be looking at how classic TV and radio comedy sketch shows present a range of recurring characters and keep them going over time and also how comedy went very dark. This exploration will equip you with insights and techniques that you can use in your own comedy writing and performing.
Analysing clips, we uncover how the comedy works – alongside how comedy developed through the years considered. There will be exercises and games to create your own TV and radio comedy material in response. Each week you are given a homework brief to respond to and the following week this material is performed for the group leading to feedback and discussion. You develop the best of your material leading to production of TV and radio comedy pieces.
This term can stand alone or you are welcome to proceed to parts 3 and then part 1 if you wish.
This term can stand alone or students are welcome to proceed to parts 3 and/or 1 (in the next academic year) if they wish.

What topics will we cover?

We will explore how knowledge of comedy fundamentals can be used to shape your own work. The work you produce will be developed over a number of weeks toward TV and radio recordings. Through this process we will look at developing ideas, script editing and re-writing, performing and recording. And:
• We will look at the rise of sketch shows with a gallery of characters that we meet each week. Our exploration of the comedy sketch this term will be with that focus from Harry Enfield, the Fast Show, Goodness Gracious Me, Little Britain, Catherine Tate, Down the Line, Help, Cardinal Burns and beyond. We will examine the techniques you can use to create character based sketch comedy.
• We will uncover how sketch comedy works with this particular focus and also this term with a specific look at quicky sketches.
• And we will look at how comedy went into dark, psychological territory with the likes of Chris Morris, League of Gentlemen and the work of Julia Davis.
• We will look at how the TV and radio comedies being analysed broke new ground, as well as discussing aspects of their history and development.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

Describe a range of fundamental comedy techniques.
Identify how character based sketches and psychologically dark comedy works.
Create and perform your own TV and radio comedy pieces.
Perform in a TV & radio studio environment.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

All levels. Some experience of writing and/or performing comedy would be an advantage, but complete novices are welcome. If you're a beginner, this will give you a good grounding in comedy and get you creating work. If you've been writing and/or performing comedy already, then this course will help you develop your work and enhance your technical skills. And you will meet fellow comedy enthusiasts to collaborate with and gain feedback and inspiration from. This is the first part of a three term course, but each term is complete in itself and can stand alone.
In order to get the most from the course you will be able to:
• Speak English fluently and clearly.
• To read a script accurately.
• Give and receive constructive feedback.
• Take notes.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

We will study and discuss TV and radio comedy clips. Participants will write, devise and improvise in the sessions, in a safe environment with encouragement and support for newcomers. You will be script-edited and directed in writing and performance by your peers and the tutor.
In the session there will be a mix of writing exercises, games, improvisation and devising work. There will be opportunities to work individually, in pairs and small groups. Each week there will be exercises set to respond to in your own comedy writing between sessions. In the class you present the material, either solo or with other performers from the group. The group and tutor give feedback, helping you to develop your comedy work towards a recording of it. You will then reflect on the recording to consolidate your learning. You will work on projects in TV and radio formats.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No compulsory purchases. You may like to buy books, scripts, DVDs or CDs to further explore in your own time. Guidance will be given on worthwhile purchases for those interested. You will also be guided to relevant YouTube clips.

Do I need to have an interview before I can enrol?


What feedback will I get?

You will receive regular feedback from your tutor throughout the course, as and when appropriate. At the end of the course you and your tutor are asked to assess the progress you have made. You will also receive feedback from fellow students.

How will I be able to give my views on the course?

Please complete the evaluation form at the end of your course. These are monitored and help us to continually improve our courses.

How do I find out if I can get some support for my learning?

You may be interested in: education and careers advice; financial and childcare support; disability support; support for Deaf and hearing-impaired students; dyslexia support; English and maths support; counselling, and library services (supported learning centre). To find out what may be available to you, and how to apply, see page 340 of the 14/15 course guide, or visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Tv & Radio Comedy:create and perform it part 3, the Comedy Sketch Show course or the Radio Comedy Writing & Performing course.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Information and Advice Shop, open Monday to Friday 12:00 – 19:00 during term time, and Monday to Friday 12:00 – 17:00 out of term time. See the course guide for term dates and further details.

Who can I contact for further information?

Tel: 020 7492 2542

Drop-in advice During term-time: Monday & Wednesday 12.30 - 13.30 and 17.30 - 18.30 Thursday 17.30 - 18.30 Non term-time Tuesday 12.30 - 13.30 Wednesday 17.30 - 18.30.

To enrol on a course, call 020 7831 7831.

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Drama, dance and speech

Tel: 020 7492 2542

Drop-in advice During term-time: Monday & Wednesday 12.30 - 13.30 and 17.30 - 18.30 Thursday 17.30 - 18.30 Non term-time Tuesday 12.30 - 13.30 Wednesday 17.30 - 18.30.

To enrol on a course, call 020 7831 7831.

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