Do you love a bit of stand up? Perhaps sketches are more your thing? Do you just really love watching some good comedy?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, we’ve got the perfect society for you — the Comedy Society. They’re a group of like-minded individuals who all absolutely love comedy, whether this is performing or watching it. I had a chat with Jordan, the President, and Annabelle, the Head of Sketch, to find out what you can expect.
First off, they tell me, is that the Comedy Society is very inclusive. It doesn’t matter how much experience you’ve got, just as long as you’re passionate about learning and growing and, of course, passionate about comedy.
“We try and make sure people can have their say when it comes to their performances,” says Jordan. “We want to make sure people are comfortable enough to say ‘I have an idea’ and then be able to follow it through. We’re here to give help and guidance, but we really want people to be able to better themselves and their performances.”
Annabelle adds: “we try to be a fair committee. Jordan, as the head, is brilliant — I’ve never met anyone who’s more passionate or works harder, especially at making time for people and making sure everyone’s happy.
“All we ask is that members are willing to put the work in, and we want everyone to have an awareness of who they’re performing with and for. Other than that, we welcome anyone!”
The Comedy Society meet every Tuesday and Thursday in the basement of the Student’s Union, from 6pm until 8pm on Tuesdays and 7pm until 9pm on Thursdays. So, what can you expect from their sessions? The first half is normally filled with a workshop, whether this is on physical theatre or other, more technical, aspects of comedy. The second half is then focused on generating ideas and sketches. Although there is a theme, there is always the opportunity to deviate from this and do your own thing.
If by the end of this article, you fancy giving the society a go, you can join the society for free through the Students’ Union website, as well as a Facebook group for you to join.
Throughout the year, the Comedy Society run a whole host of events. One such event was the recent Fuse FM x ComSoc: A CALM Time, which was a night of comedy all in the aid of CALM, a charity that raises money to help prevent male suicide.
“It was a roaring success — that performance was absolutely the best we’d done it. There’s nothing better than seeing when something works; we had such a good turnout and it was great to see the audience laughing. We got to support a local business, raise money, and give the audience a good time! All our work definitely paid off.”
They’re also looking to make their shows bigger, particularly their Showcases. These are semi-annual shows that aim to show the very best of what the society has been working on, with their next one coming up on the 4th and 5th of December. Expect the very best of the society’s sketch, stand up, improv, and radio — you’re in for an absolute treat. You can buy tickets through the Students’ Union website.
In May, they’ll be doing another showcase, but pushing the boat out even further, hoping to make it their biggest and best show yet. If you’re thinking of heading to the Fringe Festival over summer, you’ll also be able to see a condensed version of the showcase there, alongside solo and group shows with Annabelle and Jordan.
The goal of all of this, they say, is to try and stay true to Manchester’s reputation as a hub of comedy, and make comedy once again about really bringing people together. They’re also looking to do a monthly ‘Battle of the Societies’ as part of their goal to do more collaborations with other societies, bringing the comedy in things like drama and a capella.
Talking to them, you can tell that Annabelle and Jordan are both hugely passionate about the work that the society does. Now both in their final year of university, they want to leave something for the next committee to build on.
“We want to train people to be good comedians, to help them find their character and their stage presence. It’s so much more than just saying funny lines. We really want to leave behind a legacy. When people hear about the Comedy Society, we want them to expect great things.”