BREAK OUT OF YOUR SHELL
Welcome to The Suggestibles' School of Improv
You'll find cracking, confidence-boosting fun at our evening improv classes and courses for adults in Newcastle. Get involved in the friendly improv social scene, and if you want to perform, there's opportunities to take-part in improv shows too.
ABOUT SCHOOL OF IMPROV
We bring you an exciting programme of evening improv classes and courses, workshops and performances, all year round. With excellent teachers, a safe environment, and a great social scene made-up of fun and friendly people from all walks of life.
We thrive on the laughter, doing focused work in class, and bringing about those Eureka! moments. We're enriched by seeing peoples' confidence, creativity and communication skills flourish. We're dedicated to creating space and platforms for artistic expression and personal growth, developing improv as an art-form on-stage, and instilling the magic of improv on the other stage we call life.
Formed in Newcastle in 2003, School of Improv has grown into the longest running training and performance ground for improvisers in the UK.
School of Improv Classes run on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 7-9pm at Jurys Inn, Newcastle. Beginners is booked as a course, consisting of 6 weekly classes. All other classes are booked individually or with Class Passes, (saving you money). Improvers, Advanced and Musical Improv Classes are on-going. They run in flexible, 3-week blocks. In-between there are monthly Stagecraft and Voice and Movement workshops.
If you're interested in performing, we present monthly showcases at Alphabetti Theatre for our students to take-part in, and we curate a further monthly night of improv at Bobiks.
What's more, each month our students can reserve half-price tickets to see the Suggestibles' Thursday shows at the Stand Comedy Club and Saturdays at the Cumberland Arms. Bonus!
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Foundation Level 1 | Mon & Tues | 6 class course
You'll grow in confidence and have fun learning the FUNdametals of improv; the underpinning creative, team and communication skills that release the imagination, help you be in-the-moment, become more spontaneous, and worry less about what you do or say.
Intermediate Level 2 | Weds
We build on the FUNdamentals, really hone in on skills, and introduce new concepts. Short-form Improv = funny short scenes, sketches and games, which are often high-energy and quick-fire in style. The classes are playful and lots of fun.
Intermediate Level 3 | Tues
Long-form Improv = longer scenes connected by running themes and storylines. We peel back the onion on scene-work and narrative. Classes are usually gentler in pace, emotionally charged and character driven, and most find long-form more challenging than short-form.
Advanced Level 4 | Weds
For the more experienced improviser. The focus is on long-form, with some short-form at times. We dig deep into narrative skills with an emphasis on core ensemble work. The workshops are explorative, experimental, and we work-up and practice new formats to perform.
Levels 2-4 | Mon
Adding singing to improv is a whole new skill in itself, but you don't need musical ability - improvised singing is so much about 'selling' the song. The workshops are part improv, part music theory, and part vocal techniques. We improvise short scenes, play improv music games, while exploring the musical theatre genre.
Levels 2-4 | Monthly Tues/Weds
Stagecraft classes are for improvisers who want to improve their performance, be it in short-form or long-form improv. You'll learn how to ‘work-the-stage’, so the audience gets the best of you. The emphasis is less on improv itself, and more on how you perform improv to make an impact with audiences.
Levels 2-4 | Monthly Mon
These workshops are for enhancing your improv and performance skills. If you've ever been told you need to talk louder, speak more clearly, be more physical or move with more purpose, safety and control, then we encourage you to get along. Your voice and body are connected (or should be) and these sessions, led by Jenni Winter and Naz Kourgli, will exercise both.
Typically, we present two showcases each month. Alphabetti shows are made for our students to take-part in. We either invite participants to play or we accept expressions of interest. Bobiks shows are open to emerging and experienced improvisers to pitch a team and new improv comedy format for the first half, or to put a team forward to play the short-form, gamey panic room itself in the second half.
Improvers Showcase | Alternating months
RAT RACE | SHORT-FORM IMPROV SHOW
Rat Race is an improv tournament held every other month at Alphabetti. With two teams of improvisers, playfully competing to win the crowd's laughter and votes, it's an exciting short-form showcase for Improvers who are at a performance standard. Our longest running show since 2006!
Ensemble Showcase | Alternating months
COURT IN THE ACT | LONG-FORM IMPROV SHOW
Court in the Act is an improvised courtroom comedy, where the audience are the jury. Performed by members of our Ensemble workshops, it's our current long-form improv show held every other month at Alphabetti, and evolved from our 4 1 Night Only shows there.
Different Groups | Monthly
THE PANIC ROOM | IMPROV SHOW
The Panic Room is a monthly improv night at Bobiks in Jesmond, featuring emerging improvisers and a mix of ideas. In the first half a new group presents a new format each time. In the second half another team plays the Panic Room itself, where the audience are in control of the big red button. Improvisers may come from School of Improv and the wider improv scene.
Suggestibles' founders, Bev Fox and Ian McLaughlin are School of Improv's core teachers.
Bev and Ian design the programme, and deliver the majority of classes. They are two of the most accomplished improvisers working in the UK, each with 30 years experience as producers, directors, actors and teachers specialising in improvisation on film, TV, radio and on-stage.
Prior to forming the Suggestibles and School of Improv in their hometown Newcastle, they were based in London for 16 years, working as improvisers in the UK and Europe. They have performed with the UK's top improv companies such as the Comedy Store Players and Improbable Theatre, and at major venues. Shakespeare's Globe, The West End Fortune Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman and Nottingham Playhouse, to name just a few.
They themselves trained with improv guru Keith Johnstone (author of seminal books 'Impro' and 'Impro for Storytellers), Chris Johnston (author House of Games), theatre director Ken Campbell, and over the years, a plethora of brilliant teachers, artists and companies have helped shape their approach.
A PLAYGROUND FOR ADULTS
Our classes attract lovely, like-minded people who come from diverse walks of life. Introverts, extraverts, younger, older, teachers, students, artists, waiters, engineers, actors, lawyers, doctors - it's especially popular with psychologists. Hey! It's an eclectic mix.
They come for a variety of reasons. Some may come with the aim to perform (or discover that joy on the way) but by no means all. What connects everyone, is the desire to have fun and improve confidence in one or more areas of their life. Great skills are learned here. New and strong friendships are made here. There's a lively social scene outside of class too, and a real buzz around performance nights.
Our members make School of Improv what it is. Full of enthusiasm, a real passion for improv, goodwill and support for each other, and playful with it!