Comedy courses, drag and cabaret workshops, directing, script editing and more!
Stand Up Courses for Beginners and Emerging Comics
Whether you’re a total beginner, with little or no experience, or a new comic, with a few gigs under your belt, this course for you. Over the weeks, you’ll learn how to generate material, hone your comedic persona and write a 3.5 minute set, for a showcase in the final week. For 18+ yrs.
Group workshop sessions, for new and established comics. Come along on a weekly basis, or drop in from time to time, for continued feedback on your material and performance style. These workshops are a great way to meet your peers, as your progress in the comedy industry and build a support network, whilst working on your craft.
Ideal for newbies or more experienced Stand Ups, who want feedback on material or performance techniques, help developing a set or full length show, advice on the industry or just general support! Sessions can be online, or in person.
Alternative Drag and Cabaret Courses
Do you like your cabaret with a side order of strangeness? Your drag with a sprinkling of the unexpected? Then step into the dark, strange and avant-garde world of alternative cabaret, with Molly Beth Morossa. You may be a total beginner, have just a few gigs under your belt, or are a seasoned cabaret artist looking to shake things up and get a new angle on your work. Either way, this course will guide you through developing and honing your drag and cabaret practise, whilst creating a 3.5 minute set, for a showcase in the final week. For 18+ yrs.
If you’re writing a longer set, or working on a full length show for a tour or festivals, a director can help facilitate your vision. Sessions can be tailored to meet your exact requirements, but can include the entire process, from devising and dramaturgy, through to technical rehearsals, previews and opening night.
Comedy Courses for 13-17 year olds
For anyone under 18, comedy can be a great way to unleash creativity and build confidence. Our courses are in stand up, or mixed comedy genres, including sketch, musical and character comedy and improv. The courses coincide with term times and school holidays.
Corporate Comedy Workshops
A series of workshops designed to cover your company’s specific needs, from team bonding and presenting skills, to exploring equality and inclusion through shared comedy experiences.
If any of these float your boat, take a look at the further details, register your interest or find out how to book here.
Above Your Nerve is a Theatre Company specialising in comedy and new writing.
We are dedicated to finding and nurturing emerging voices. If you have any questions, please get in touch!
I'm Gemma Leader, a London based comedy facilitator, director and performer. I've been teaching stand up at Soho Theatre, since 2012. If you'd like to know more about me, or our other facilitators and what we do, click below.
"Gemma is such a great teacher. She gave really specific, tailored feedback and advice to each and every one of us in the group, on our writing and delivery. I had a bit of a crisis in confidence part way through the course and she was hugely encouraging and I'm so glad to have stuck with it. She helped me find the funny in what I was writing and then gave me the confidence to actually perform it. What's more, it was really good fun."
Gemma is a fantastic tutor, she knows her stuff and teaches the building blocks any budding comic will need, but far more importantly she creates collaborative, supportive and positive environments which allow you to be the most creative version of yourself. On the writing, when you hit that comedy cul de sac (and everybody does) Gemma is professionally funny and can help you navigate back out. Overall the workshops will elevate and positively challenge your writing and performance so that you end up with a wonderful set, that’s true to you.”
"I had the best time on Gemma's course at Soho Theatre. She creates a safe environment that is both nurturing and challenging. Her feedback was incredibly perceptive, and in many cases, she seemed to know what I wanted to achieve better than I did. I could not recommend a person more than I could Gemma for any stage of your standup journey. Her dedication to the craft and her support will elevate your work to the highest possible standard."
"Gemma is not only a comic genius, but an amazing teacher. She explains comedy well, she is very responsive when sending her material to review, and also she's just a really genuinely lovely person - she really wants you to do well."
“Gemma deserves more than these two sentences on a web page for you to fully appreciate who you’re working with. If you’ve got as far as reading this and you’re considering learning from Gemma then go on, do it. Gemma will help you explore your creativity with honesty, if you are new to this world then she’ll be kind and best of all you’ll laugh along the way"
“Working with Gemma during the 8 weeks was inspiring and that’s what you need in the room for comedy…someone that inspires great ideas and pushes you to find more in yourself and in your jokes. Plus she’s a good laugh.”
"I loved Gemma's stand up comedy course. Not only does she really know her stuff, but she also created a challenging yet supportive space for a group of very different people who all loved making people laugh and wanted to hone their craft - a space where we could all try and test new material, and begin to find our comedic voices."
"Gemma has been so helpful to my stand-up writing. It is such a bizarre industry, but doing the sessions with Gemma and hearing her feedback really has given me the tools and tricks necessary to structure my stand-up sets and given me more confidence in my joke writing. Her feedback has always been so detailed, honest, and constructive. And also she is a lovely person and so easy to chat to!"
"I did the Soho Theatre Comedy Lab with Gemma Leader and not only was it so much fun, it made the world of difference. Not only did I have a safe space to try stuff out, she also gave some invaluable tips and techniques to improve my comedy massively."
"Gemma was the comedy Dr Frankenstein who created me out of dead body parts, in the middle of the night, in the bowels of Soho Theatre."
"Gemma breaks down the mechanics of stand up comedy in a way that is accessible to everyone. Her friendly encouragement and direction is ideal for anyone starting their journey into stand up."
"Gemma knows her stuff. Her feedback is honest, constructive and I've become a better (I hope) comedian thanks to her!"
Maybe you're a beginner and want a safe space to try stand up or cabaret and drag for the first time. Maybe you've been gigging for a while and are looking to build on your techniques and skills. You might be a stand up working on your first full length show and want some support and feedback. Check out our FAQs to see how Above Your Nerve can help you!
Sign up to hear from us about courses, workshops and events.