Stand up if you think you could make people laugh: head for London Fields in Hackney

Busker in Broadway Market Hackney London

ANYONE could do that comedy thing, couldn’t they? If you’ve ever thought that, Paul Corbin can give you a bit of help to test the thesis. The comedy promoter is offering courses in Hackney next month.
Nineteen hours of lessons over four weeks start at a swish London Fields venue on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6.30pm- 9pm. The fee is £180 (£130 concessions),but if you book in time to join the first intake, you’ll pay £100.
Within a few days of announcing the course on his website, Corbin had received three applications, leaving only three vacancies for the first series.

Comedy promoter Paul Corbin, and top, busker in Broadway Market, Lon E8
Corbin, and top, a busker in (tenuous pictorial link to this story) Broadway Market

The teachers are Benjamin Crellin, described on Corbin’s site as “a highly regarded award-winning performer who has been a professional comic for his entire adult life”, and Corbin, who says he has “dabbled” in comedy but is involved mostly in booking, production and promotion. Among comedians he’s seen recently, he names Andrew Maxwell as especially enjoyable.
Theirs is not the only comedy course in London – see below for others – but according to Corbin it has a special feature. His Comedy Bin operation puts on stand-up throughout London so, he says, “we can offer bookings”. Assuming, that is, that by the end the course you’re garnered some ability to make people laugh.

Matthew Devereaux, an actor, musician, comedian and writer, said: “I would say to any aspiring standup,’What are your motives: vanity, masochism combined with attention-seeking, a longing for glamour?

“The best motive is to have something important to say that is being overlooked by the rest of us. As one of the greatest standup critics of all time, the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD121-180), said, ‘Remain silent, unless what you have to say is more important than silence’.”

David Altheer 250112

* Lessons will be held in the venue below the Off Broadway bar, 63-65 Broadway Market, Hackney E8 4PH. Disabled people will need help to negotiate their way down the steps. First course starts on Mon 13 Feb 2012.

* London Comedy Course, New Cross; City Lit, Covent Garden. Find Laughing Horse, Richmond and Covent Garden; and Amused Moose, Covent Garden; via this hyperlink: the Comedy School.

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