Learn stand-up comedy and performance poetry with Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre


Two brand new online courses from Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, on stand-up comedy and performance poetry, start next month.

Both courses are on Zoom, last five weeks, and are led by former members of the theatre’s youth theatre group, Rounders. Stand-up Comedy for Beginners, led by Paddy Young, takes place from 7pm to 8pm each Monday from 8 March to 5 April. Performance Poetry for Beginners, led by Nadia Emam, takes place from 7pm to 8pm on Tuesdays 9, 16 and 30 March, and 6 and 13 April.

Paddy Young is a professional comedian and actor. He joined the SJT’s Rounders when he was eight and remained there until going to drama school. Since then he has worked in theatre and TV, as well as taking two stand up shows to Edinburgh Festival.

Paddy says: “These workshops will provide a crash course into the mad world of stand-up comedy: performing, writing, how to trick yourself into writing and finding your voice. We’ll look at and discuss some of the best stand-ups in the world whilst developing your act together. Oh, and we’ll be having a laugh too! By the last session you will have five minutes of killer material ready to take to the clubs (once they open again!)”

Nadia Emam was a member of Rounders and trained at Manchester School of Theatre. She now works as an actor, poet and director based in Sheffield, where she is a supported artist of The Crucible. She was awarded a placement with the SJT by the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme, during which she curated a sell-out poetry evening celebrating female poets, as well as delivering poetry workshops for the Summer School. Her debut poetry film won the WEX Short Film Competition and was selected for the BFI’s Northern Exposure Short Film Programme.

Nadia says: “This workshop will give you a crash course introduction to writing and performing your own poetry. It will be a fun and safe space to explore writing techniques to generate new material and eventually give you the tools to perform your own short piece of poetry. We’ll look at various types of performance and guide you to feel comfortable enough to develop your own voice and style.

“If you’ve dabbled in verse, yet keep your writing a secret and want to move into sharing it, or haven’t glanced at a page of poetry since your school days, but fancy exploring it in a new way, this course is for you! Come along with a pen, a brew and your most delicious words. Anybody can be a poet (don’t you know it!)”

Places on both courses are £35 each, to cover five hour-long online workshops. To book, please visit www.sjt.uk.com/whatson

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