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Comedy Festival Launches Stand Up Course

Organisers of the Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival, now in its third year, are giving the opportunity for would be stand up comedians in the county to learn the tricks of the trade – and to perform a gig at the Festival.

The Festival runs from 18-21 July next year, with top acts previewing their shows prior to the Edinburgh Festival in a number of venues across town. The curtain is brought down on the Festival with a star studded Gala Show on the Sunday night, which is already on sale at Theatre Severn box office. Previous acts have included Greg Davies, Russell Kane & Joe Lycett and next year’s line up will be revealed over the coming months.

Festival Co-Director Kevin Bland said “Every year we’ve tried to introduce something different to the Festival, and to make it as inclusive as possible. I’ve long had the feeling there are some frustrated comedians in Shropshire so we thought we’d do something that would encourage them a bit – hence the idea of doing a stand up course.”

He’s quick to point out however, it’s not just those who wish to get a leg up to start a new career that would benefit from the course. “First & foremost it’s a great way to meet like minded people, have a bit of fun and maybe get over those nerves that everyone has when speaking in public. We’ve had interest from a wide demographic & there will be lots to take away from the course even if you never perform stand up again” he added.

The course, which will be taught by professional comedian James Cook, will be two full days, either the Saturday or Sunday of the two weekends prior to the Festival.

So, essentially either the 6th & 13th or the 7th & 14th July, venue TBC. The course will run from 10.30am - 4pm with a break for lunch.

Day One will concentrate on the material - conception, writing, editing & set construction etc.

Day Two will concentrate on the performance - stagecraft, mic technique & set delivery etc.

Kevin says that on completion of the course “We will put on a showcase gig at lunchtime on the Saturday or Sunday of the Festival where family & friends (and the wider public) can come and watch you perform your first gig.”

Cost of the course per person will be £110. The showcase will be £3 entry to cover venue costs.

If you wish to take a place on the course, drop a line to [email protected] & you’ll be put on the list. First come, first served, the maximum number of students is 12, but a minimum of 10 is required to make it happen.