Learn Improv with our courses

The Nursery is a great place to learn improv!

The Nursery’s improv classes and courses are a great way to improve your confidence and creativity, as well as being great fun ways to meet people in London.

Core modules

The levels 1-3 form the core of our improvisation training, giving you a solid foundation in the creative and practical techniques of theatrical improvisation.

Our syllabus is based on over a decade’s experience of providing world-class longform improvisation training in London.

We believe everyone can enjoy and do improv. Our classes are suitable for anyone, artist or accountant, programmer or homemaker. Come brighten up your life with our improv classes.

Where to start

If you’re an absolute beginner why not dip your toes in at one of our taster workshops or weekly drop in classes, or sign up for our level one course today?

If you’re more experienced, with a couple of courses under your belt you’d be able to start further along in our core class level system, just email us if you’re not sure where you’d fit in.

If you’d like to read up on what these courses are like, take a look at these articles:

Five things to expect at your first improv class

The Nursery’s Improv Training Programme

Five things you might hear in your first course

Level 1: Spontaneity

‘Spontaneity’ is a crash course in how improvisation works, how much fun it is and how creative you can be in the moment. Using games and exercises from fifteen years of putting on shows, our experienced teachers will introduce you to techniques, behaviours and habits of mind that will make you more confident in new situations and more resilient in challenging ones.

‘Spontaneity’ will make you a better listener and communicator at work and home, and build your creativity. After all, improvisation is for everyone, not just performers.

An eight week course with a maximum group size of sixteen, ‘Spontaneity’ is the ideal place to begin your improv journey. It gives a grounding in the core skills of improvisation that is experiential, challenging, and above all, hugely enjoyable.

As well as learning useful skills you’ll get to meet new friends and spend an evening a week laughing hard. Guaranteed.

Do you want to try before you buy?

Sign up to our Level 1 Taster Workshop

Why should I learn Improv?

  • Improv skills are transferable to all aspects of life.
  • You’ll start trusting your own creative ideas.
  • You’ll gain confidence.
  • You’ll laugh. A lot.
  • You’ll make a bunch of fun new friends.

What will I learn on the course?

You’ll learn fundamental concepts and techniques, such as:

  • How to let go of negative thought patterns and say ‘yes’ to what’s fun in the moment.
  • How to create scenes and ideas from nothing.
  • How to listen deeply and supportively.
  • How to add to an idea in simple steps.
  • How to gain confidence in your own abilities and contribution.

Is this right for me?

Yes! The beginner courses are suitable for anyone looking to learn improv skills! Including:

  • Complete beginners! No improv, acting or performing experience is needed!
  • People with a first language other than English.
  • People with anxiety.
  • Performers looking to add a new skill to their toolbox.

march

31mar7:00 pm9:30 pmLevel 1: Spontaneity8 week course7:00 pm - 9:30 pm St Giles InternationalBook

june

04jun7:00 pm9:30 pmLevel 1: Spontaneity8 week course7:00 pm - 9:30 pm St Giles InternationalBook

Level 2: Character

Hey, you know that fun thing you did? Do it again! A core idea in many areas of comedy and storytelling, building characters is fun, funny and easy to do.

The level 2 course channels the freewheeling joy of ‘Spontaneity’ into characters and how they interact in scenes, the building blocks of all improv shows. Over eight evenings, you will be introduced to a variety of techniques to help you to create characters with interesting points of view and dynamic emotions.

You’ll learn to avoid stereotypes to make characters that are both recognisable and sympathetic, tugging on the audience’s heartstrings even as you make them laugh. And if you know who you are and what is going on, scenes become so much easier to play.

This course is for those who have completed our Level 1 or equivalent from another improv company.

What will I learn on the course?

In addition to deepening your understanding of core improvisation concepts, the Character course introduces new concepts including:

  • How to choose, hold on to and exaggerate a point of view
  • How to use aspects of your own personality and experience.
  • How to use physical and vocal transformation.
  • How to support and add to your partner’s choices.

Is this right for me?

Yes, if you have:

  • Already taken our Level 1: Spontaneity course. Welcome back!
  • Already taken a similar Level 1 course with another company. Perfect, you already know the basics – come and join the Level 2 course!

Not quite yet (but soon!), if:

  • You have been to some drop-in classes and ready to take the next step? Brilliant, it’s great that you’ve caught the improv bug, but hold off on booking Level 2 – this isn’t your course just yet. Join our next Level 1 course and we’ll see you on Level 2 very soon!
  • You are a performer with training/experience in your craft but new to improv? Ace, you will love improv – but you’ll get the most out of it by starting at the start, so book yourself a Level 1 course and we’ll see you on Level 2 very soon!
  • You are a complete beginner with no previous experience? Great, welcome! Head over to our level 1 course and start your journey there.

march

31mar7:00 pm9:30 pmLevel 2: Character8 week course7:00 pm - 9:30 pm 504 ArchBook

Level 3: Storytelling

This course is for those who have completed our Level 2 or equivalent from another improv company.

What will I learn on the course?

You’ll learn narrative, scenic and ensemble based skills, such as:

  • How to use specific structures to create great stories and scenes.
  • How to perform stories as part of a connected ensemble.
  • How to make the most of imagined objects and environments, creating rich worlds to play in.

Is this right for me?

Yes, if you have:

  • Already taken our Level 2: Character course. Great – time to level up!
  • Already taken a similar Level 2 course with another company? Excellent – come join us for Level 3!

Not quite yet (but soon!), if:

  • You have been to some drop-in classes and feel ready to take the next step? Brilliant, it’s great that you’ve caught the improv bug, but hold off on booking Level 3 – this isn’t your course just yet. Join our next Level 1 course and we’ll see you once you’ve completed levels 1-2!
  • You are a performer with training/experience in your craft but new to improv? Ace, you will love improv – but you’ll get the most out of it by starting at the start, so book yourself a Level 1 course and we’ll see you once you’ve completed levels 1-2!
  • You are a complete beginner with no previous experience? Great, welcome! Head over to our level 1 course and start your journey there.

march

17mar7:00 pm9:30 pmLevel 3: Storytelling8 week course7:00 pm - 9:30 pm Aegis Productions StudiosBook

Level 4: Optional Modules

After completing our core modules, players can choose which course to take next. These courses build on your core skills to take you towards performance.

Level 4a: Intro to Narrative Improvisation

Humans are creatures of story. We tell them, listen to them, see the world through them. In this course, you will take all of the skills that you have learnt and use them to build worlds and tell stories that make the audience not just laugh, but react in all kinds of different ways. You will learn to return to a character when we know how they will react, torture them, reward them and watch them grow.

This course teaches many of the skills used in our Nursery Original shows , as well as shows like Happily Never After and Impromptu Shakespeare. It combines the structure of a great story with the glee and oddity of an improvised show.

This course is for those who have completed our Level 3 or equivalent from another improv company.

What will I learn on the course?

You’ll learn emotional, scenic, and stagecraft based skills, such as:

  • The fun of big reactions.
  • How to connect with the emotions in a scene, letting these guide the action.
  • How to perform with presence and confidence.
  • How to read your scene partner and react honestly, making compelling & surprising scenes.

Is this right for me?

Yes, if you have:

  • Already taken our Level 3: Storytelling course. Great – time to level up!
  • Already taken a similar Level 3 course with another company? Excellent – come join us for Level 4!

Not quite yet (but soon!), if:

  • You have been to some drop-in classes and feel ready to take the next step? Brilliant, it’s great that you’ve caught the improv bug, but hold off on booking Level 4 – this isn’t your course just yet. Join our next Level 1 course and we’ll see you once you’ve completed levels 1-3!
  • You are a performer with training/experience in your craft but new to improv? Ace, you will love improv – but you’ll get the most out of it by starting at the start, so book yourself a Level 1 course and we’ll see you once you’ve completed levels 1-3!
  • You are a complete beginner with no previous experience? Great, welcome! Head over to our level 1 course and start your journey there.

Level 4b: Intro to longform improvisation (The Harold)

This course is for those who have been playing improv for a year or so and want to expand their skills. Working as a team, you will be introduced to the legendary longform format the Harold, a 25-45 minute form which eschews story to instead be an examination of a theme. Harold, in the words of Tara DeFrancisco, is a set of rules created one night and never to be played again.

In this course, players will be taught how to use one scene to inspire another, how to revisit characters, locations and ideas in a way which does not feel restrictive, but liberating and inspiring. Taught in this way, the Harold feels useful and inspiring rather than like a maths problem which you have to solve.

At the end of the course, you will also be introduced to other forms and shows which are based on the Harold.

This course is for those who have completed our Level 3 or equivalent from another improv company. It is highly recommended as an alternative angle on the Harold.

Is this right for me?

Yes, if you have:

  • Already taken our Level 3 course. Great – time to level up!
  • Already taken a similar Level 3 course with another company? Excellent – come join us for Level 4!

Not quite yet (but soon!), if:

  • You have been to some drop-in classes and feel ready to take the next step? Brilliant, it’s great that you’ve caught the improv bug, but hold off on booking Level 4 – this isn’t your course just yet. Join our next Level 1 course and we’ll see you once you’ve completed levels 1-3!
  • You are a performer with training/experience in your craft but new to improv? Ace, you will love improv – but you’ll get the most out of it by starting at the start, so book yourself a Level 1 course and we’ll see you once you’ve completed levels 1-3!
  • You are a complete beginner with no previous experience? Great, welcome! Head over to our level 1 course and start your journey there.

Student Ensemble

This programme is for those who have completed our Level 5 / equivalent from another improv company / other significant regular improv experience.

The Nursery Student Ensemble is a group rehearsing in the Nursery ethos of player empowerment, emotional connection and freeform silliness. Directed by Artistic Director Jules Munns and Education Coordinator Jennifer Jordan, this 12 week programme focuses on personal development and ensemble creation, working with a different format each season. Perfect for those who have worked through our training and want to push their improv to the next level.

Is this right for me?

Yes, if you have:

  • Already taken our Level 5: Longform course. Congrats on completing 1-5, it’s time to elevate!
  • Already taken a full set of courses with another company and want to try something different.
  • Have trained a ton in improv but want to push yourself, take more risks and strengthen the aspects of improv you find more challenging.

Not quite yet (but soon!), if:

  • You haven’t taken our Levels 1-5 (or equivalent with another improv company).
  • You have never done improv before.
  • You have taken some drop-in classes, but no full courses.

Elective Courses

These courses are multi week classes broadly aimed at improvisers with some experience, taught by a host of teachers.

These classes explore specialised formats, concepts and styles of improv, and are great for expanding your knowledge after becoming practised at the basics of improv.

These workshops always sell out fast, please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

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