What is the course about?
You will work in a writing and performing team to create, write, perform, record and edit a radio sketch show. We will record the sketches using the City Lit’s professional radio studio facilities. The course is run by Chris Head who has twenty-five years experience in comedy. This course is a development from the beginners sketch course but anyone with some experience of writing and performing comedy is welcome.
Listening to, analysing and discussing radio sketches from the likes of Mitchell & Webb, Laura Solon, the League of Gentlemen and Cowards will equip you with insights to create characters, situations and scripts. And we will use creative writing exercises and improvisation to create sketch ideas in the session. Individual writers or pairs of writers are then tasked with writing up the sketches. You will also be set homework to inspire sketch writing between the sessions.
Recording the show in the studio will give you the chance to perform in a radio studio context and you will be coached to work to your best in that context. The group will also be taught editing techniques using the free cross platform audio editing software Audacity. What you learn will be applicable to other audio editing packages. We will source free sound effects from Freesound.org.
Once we have completed the recordings, you will be invited to edit up your own sketches and add sound effects and music. Chris will then finishing any editing that needs doing, will compile the sketches into a show and will share it with the group and anyone else who’d like to hear it via SoundCloud. Listen to a show from a previous course.
What will we cover?
• How to write and structure comedy sketches.
• Characters: finding inspiration, inner conflict, creating a funny dynamic between characters.
• Writing for radio.
• Opportunities in broadcast radio.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Describe how sketch characters and relationships are created.
Demonstrate how to write comedy sketches for radio.
Perform in a radio studio environment.
Demonstrate basic audio editing techniques.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some experience of writing and/or performing comedy is expected but complete novice radio writer/performers/editors are welcome.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.
Please Note: We do not usually accept under 19 year olds except in special circumstances - please see Students under 19 for more information.
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.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Create TV & Radio Comedy part 1 and 2 or any City Lit comedy course.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details