Who wants to be funny? Stephen Joseph Theatres has just the online course for you

Funny business: Paddy Young will be giving tips on standing up to the challenge of being a comedian. Picture: Lucas Smith

DO you fancy learning how to be funny in Scarborough?

An online course in stand-up comedy will start next month, run on Zoom by the Stephen Joseph Theatre, along with a course on performance poetry.

Both will last five weeks, coordinated by former members of the SJT’s youth theatre group, Rounders.

Led by Paddy Young, Stand-up Comedy for Beginners will take place from 7pm to 8pm each Monday from March 8 to April 5.

Led by Nadia Emam, the Performance Poetry for Beginners sessions will be held on Tuesdays, on March 9, 16 and 30, then April 6 and 13, from 7pm to 8pm.

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

“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,” says Paddy.

“We’ll look at and discuss some of the best stand-ups in the world while 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!”

“Come along with a pen, a brew and your most delicious words,” says Nadia Emam, inviting participants in her online performance poetry workshops. Picture: Michalina Kubiak

Nadia Emam was a member of Rounders before training at Manchester School of Theatre. She now works as an actor, poet and director based in Sheffield, where she is a supported artist at The Crucible.

Nadia was awarded a placement with the SJT by the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme, enabling her to curate a sell-out poetry evening celebrating female poets, as well as to deliver 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.

“This online workshop will give you a crash-course introduction to writing and performing your own poetry,” Nadia says. “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, go to: sjt.uk.com/whatson.