Stand-up comedians holding children's workshops in Warwickshire to teach the art of laughter
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Now they are aiming to educate and entertain their youngest audiences by adapting their humour in a series of comedy workshops geared to primary school-aged children.
The pair met at a six-week comedy course after both deciding to take a new direction in their lives.
Speaking about the kids' workshops, Anne said: “One of the things we’ve been doing is kids’ career workshops in schools and what we’ve found is that kids are naturally very funny and very creative.
“I have three little girls of my own and I use quite a lot of the workshop techniques with them on a daily basis. It’s just lovely when you see them start to come out of their shell. Even the really shy kids who would hardly speak at the beginning of the workshop are then up on the mic after an hour or two."
The workshops, which have been trialled with more than 500 children at five schools in the area, are open to two age groups: Years three to four (ages 7-8) and years five to six (ages 9-11) and tackle performance skills and comedy improvisation exercises as well as ‘laughter yoga’ and even breathing exercises.
The sessions are designed to develop skills such as creativity, public speaking, listening and confidence building among young people
Anne said: “But it’s also about learning to be silly. They’re allowed to be silly. They’re allowed to make the jokes they’re not allowed to make in class. They’re allowed to make each other laugh and it’s lovely to see that, particularly in this day and age where life can be so serious and the kids are under so much pressure to learn and get results. It is joyful to see these transformations happening in a really short space of time."
Anne and Mark also have plans to introduce workshops for secondary school-aged children.
Anne said: “I think it’s incredible that I’m able to bring something to kids today that was just not available to me as a child. There’s such a gap in the market and as human beings we absolutely love to laugh and yet there is so little focus on that in kids’ education and even in their extra-curricular groups.
“I know it’s a cliché, but laughter is such good medicine. Making life a bit more fun and light-hearted is no bad thing.”
The Children’s Comedy Workshops will take place at the following locations:
Tuesday, April 7 - The Kenilworth Centre
Thursday, April 9 - Warwick Gates Community Centre
Tuesday April 14 - Norton Lindsey Village Hall
Thursday, April 16- Kineton Village Hall
For more information or to book, go to: www.comedyatwork.com/kidsThe workshops cost £25 but Courier and Weekly News readers can receive a £5 discount on booking quoting LC05 online or over the phone.
The Comedy at Work team is also hosting stand-up nights at village halls in aid of local charities. The next gigs are in Stretton on Dunsmore on March 20, Quinton on April 3; Burton Dassett on April 25.