Writing political comedy

Course Dates: 27/10/19
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Kate Smurthwaite

When it comes to subjects for comedy, the news media never seems to run out. Learn to write political comedy from pithy one liners to satirical columns and monologues using techniques from professional comedy script writers.


What is the course about?

This course is a one-day masterclass in writing political comedy with practicioner Kate Smurthwaite, writer for Have I Got News For You and the BBC BAFTA-winning series The Revolution Will Be Televised.

What will we cover?

- Comedy of politics, politics of comedy
- Generating material
- Drafting and redrafting
- Writing for performance
- Devising comedy.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- give and receive feedback with sensitivity
- Identify different types of political comedy
- Understand some basic techniques of writing political comedy and writing for performance in general
- Produce several pieces of original creative writing.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Come ready to share your ideas and your unique sense of humour. You will need an interest in politics and a willingness to participate. This is an intermediate course and some experience of creative writing will be useful. English fluency is essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Tutor-led discussion, analysis of successful political comedy, in class exercises, collaborative writing.

All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring writing materials. You are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet for use during in-class writing exercises if you feel it will help you.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Why not flex your funny bone in Joke writing or in our three-week Writing comedy course? Please check the prospectus for dates. You may also be interested in writing for performance in one of our playwriting or screenwriting courses. Watch out for Ways into playwriting and Ways into screenwriting every term.

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for Build writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Go for it! It's a brilliant way in to writing political comedy and will really help to build your confidence. Plus, you get to spend a day laughing and getting out your political frustrations so it's very therapeutic!
Course Rating
Review by Holly / (Posted on 24/02/2019)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HW473

Sun, day, 27 Oct - 27 Oct '19

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £59.00
Concession: £24.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

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Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2717

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.