Why Jam is one of the main ingredients of The Nursery Theatre

Why Jam is one of the main ingredients of The Nursery Theatre

Thursday Night Lights or #TNL is the name of The Nursery’s in-house jam event. It’s been going a for a few years now and in that time we’ve hosted over 5000 jammers and seen 190+ new or established acts come along and join in. We’ve found that people come back time and time again for the atmosphere, the stage-time and the sense of community it brings… but also the lols. We’ve heard of multiple teams forming off the back of finding an onstage impro-mance and many people’s introduction to improv was actually through coming to jam rather than taking a class first,the ruddy legends!

When #TNL first came about we wanted to offer something new to the scene and hopefully try to plug a gap. We’d all been to miscellaneous jams and loved what our friends in other improv companies were doing*. But we wondered if we could offer even more. When talking to people about jam nights in general, a lot of people mentioned the potential of not feeling safe onstage, or that the hosts might allow something awkward to continue in the spirit of ‘blind yes anding’, so we wanted to address that before the show starts. We also noticed that some jams allowed for pot luck when pulling names out of a hat, so when we host a jam, we curate the running order, so that very new performers get to play with people who might take care of them, and that people who like a challenge will get one, and our regulars get stretched. Everyone wins. We also felt that it was strange to go onstage to try and do your best work without a warm-up. So, we introduced a mini-workshop section to the start of the night, and made sure everyone who wanted to jam could join in.

All of the above serves to explain why, when we are still transitioning between Theatre venues, we just had to continue with one of the projects we are most proud of. Thursday Night Lights will continue for all the reasons above, to serve the community that we owe everything to. I’m personally really proud of TNL and it looks like other jams are starting to join us in some of the ways we run them, which can only be a good thing for the development of the scene.

We’ve learned a lot about what the community want from these types of evenings, and are always evolving and trying new things with #TNL. Jams are jams, but The Nursery’s comes with extra seeds. (You didn’t expect to escape this blog this without a jam based pun did you?)

-See you all real soon back at TNL,


There are tons of places to jam now in the capital, and they are all fantastic. here’s a list of all some of our recommendations:

  • Duck Duck Goose – Monday’s in Brixton
  • Hoopla mini jam- Wednesday’s in London Bridge
  • Thursday night Lights – At the Nursery Training Centre, I wonder what day of the week it’s on.
  • Hoopla Mega Jam- Sunday’s in Piccadilly Circus

The Nursery

The Nursery has been supporting improvisation and the arts for over ten years!

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