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Improv Co-Lab Leeds: ESPECIALLY GENTLE for newcomers

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Event description

Welcome to a special edition of our friendly open play session - for anyone curious to explore improvisation. Whether it’s your first-time as a newcomer, or you’re a lapsed performer.

Improv is the art of unscripted, unplanned performance; spontaneous, playful and co-created between generous and attentive humans. Underpinning it are sound principles for good human-ing - like listening, being kind and embracing mistakes.

The session will be especially gentle. That means safe, welcoming, high-support and low-expectation.

No need to be funny. No need to act or ‘try’. No need to be fast or clever.

Just bring your curious, playful self, and we’ll see what emerges.

What to expect

We’ll explore and bring-to-life the principles and practice of improvisation. We’ll play simple, clearly-explained improv games to get us feeling safe and supportive towards one another. In my experience, with that in place, the fun takes care of itself.

Games are short, structured exercises with creative constraints to help focus us and encourage play. We’ll do this in pairs, trios or all together as a group. There won’t be any public audience or big performance. Just us (community members, me, other people like you), in a private, bright and warm room.

This event is for you, if you: 

  • Feel nervous about improv yet deep-down know it’ll be good for you
  • Know people who do improv and want to know what it’s all about
  • Are a human being who plays games and enjoys fun
  • Hate pressure to be funny, clever or act
  • Can brave, as long as you’re supported and safe

Improv can help you with: confidence, embracing mistakes and failure, empathy, listening skills, and resilience.

I made this for people like us - hello! 

I’m Chris Kenworthy - an enthusiastic and curious improviser (and professional coach). I travel the UK and Europe exploring improv retreats, workshops and intensives, then offer my discoveries to the group for everyone to play with. I’ve trained with The Maydays, Maria Peters, Jennifer Jordan and Chris Mead.

I’m keen to build a more connected improv scene here in Leeds. I’d also like to deepen my improv by playing with a consistent group of friendly improvisers. I’m still learning too!

This is informal play and practise for all

You’re welcome at Co-Lab whatever your improv experience. Amongst us are beginners, ex-drama students, amateur and professional actors, lapsed and experienced performing improvisers.

You’ll get the most out of this if you’re curious, open-hearted and courageous - ready to jump in and play (that’s improv!). As a newcomer, you’re welcome to come observe a few games and get a feel for our group, then join in as the session unfolds.

While Leeds Improv Co-Lab isn’t a formal class or taught lesson, you’ll be in safe hands because I’ll host and facilitate/lead the session. I’ll make sure we’re welcomed, warmed up, and that everyone plays fairly and on-time.

Please send me a message if you feel unsure about any of this (use the ‘Contact host’ button below).

What to expect 

Here’s what a typical 90-minute session looks like:

  1. Welcome and theme introduction.
  2. Check-in and agreements.
  3. Gentle warm-up.
  4. Play improv games and scenes! (+ Comfort break).
  5. Check-out and close.

Past session themes include follow your feet, character work, play it big, mischief, truth in comedy, mistakes and failure. I also invite guest teachers to host special one-off sessions.

Leeds Improv Co-Lab is a not-for-profit, community event

Your ticket covers ongoing running costs like hiring a room and admin fees. Concession tickets are available if you can’t afford to come - just ask.

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Refund policy

Refunds are available up to 1 day prior to the event