Women’s Comedy Workshop
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.
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.