Women’s Comedy Workshops
We are partnering with Radicle Comedy for our WEEKENDER.
The Women’s Comedy Workshops are back, we are championing and centring Women and Non-Binary participants from the Global Majority.
The workshops will culminate in a comedy show (sharing of our material) as part of the WEEKENDER on 11th March.
We are very excited that our upcoming Women’s Comedy Workshops will be led by the spectacular Natalia Gul from ‘The Jungle’, Karachi. This is our third collaboration with Natalia on the comedy workshops and we’re thrilled to have her over in person.
On 18th February, we will start 4 weeks of FREE Saturday afternoon workshops – covering stage presence, creating material, stand up technique, and collaborative writing, all in a brilliantly supportive safe space.
Those of you who are familiar with the Women’s Comedy Workshop might be expecting Natalie Diddams to be running the workshops. However, Natalie has stepped back from the project to focus on her academic career (and to have a baby – congratulations Dr Diddams!). Going forwards, the Women’s Comedy Workshop will be managed by Theatre in the Mill, in collaboration with Radicle Comedy (which is led by the hilarious duo of Carolyn Eden & Lucy Quin).
HOW IT ALL BEGAN: Empowerment through comedy.
Dr Natalie Diddams is a theatre director and research practitioner that specialises in empowerment through comedy. Over the past six years, Natalie has developed a new approach to writing and performing stand-up comedy, which has creativity and collaboration at its heart. In that time, Theatre in the Mill has collaborated with Dr Diddams on numerous projects; both virtual and live, in Bradford as well as internationally, with the ultimate aim being to provide a safe space where participants can experiment with stand-up and feel empowered by it.
The project began under the name “Women’s Comedy Workshop”. In a nutshell, the Women’s Comedy Workshop invites women to experiment with comedy, humour and laughter in a safe and supportive environment, culminating in a comedy night at which participants can experience performing at Theatre in the Mill in front of a live audience.
Say hello to the project facilitators
The team is located across the North of England and Karachi, Pakistan.
Past & Present Projects
Stand Up for What? Comedy Workshops
Stand Up for What? was a set of four workshops about stand up comedy for women taking place in June and July, 2022. The course capitalised on the disruptive potential of feminist comedy and created a platform for women to speak about the issues that concern them – from the need for action around climate change to the need for pockets in women’s trousers.
Dr Diddams’ Comedy Lab
Get to know your funny bone.
Led by Dr Natalie Diddams, the comedy lab was a four-week course specially designed for staff and students from the University of Bradford. It was the first mixed-gender group and as usual no prior comedy experience was needed to take part. The group experimented with exercises to help understand comic persona and develop their own material for stand-up. This safe space enabled participants to build a supportive network and experiment with stand-up comedy techniques. The course finished with a hilarious comedy night held at Theatre in the Mill on Saturday 13th November, where the group performed their new material to an audience of 50 people.
Women’s Comedy Workshop Online
This iteration of the Women’s Comedy Workshop was facilitated online due to Covid-19. It ran over the course of a month and culminated in an online comedy showcase (through the power of Zoom!) . Despite the online nature of the event, it attracted the biggest audience we’ve ever had for a comedy show and the atmosphere was booming!
Radicle Comedy Karachi
In February 2021, Natalie partnered with Natalia Gul Jilani – a Karachi-based comedian – to deliver a series of online comedy workshops to women in Pakistan. The workshops are being hosted by NAPA: Pakistan’s National Academy of Performing Arts. A documentary film about the project was shown at Women of the World Pakistan on Monday 8 March and a live online performance event was held on Friday 12 March, which formed part of NAPA’s Laughter Festival.