TV star brings comedy course online

Tackling social isolation with humour.

Women & Theatre’s Artistic Director, Janice Connolly – well-known for her role in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights and her stand up character Mrs Barbara Nice, is running free and friendly stand-up comedy courses for people aged 50+ and carers which will take place online.

The next six week course, taking place via Zoom, starts on Monday 15th June. This is a great opportunity for people in south Birmingham to get together, create stand-up comedy routines, build confidence, make new friends & connections and celebrate what we find funny in a friendly and inclusive environment.

In January 2020, Women & Theatre launched its Community Performance Club project for older adults and carers with the aim of using comedy to strengthen communities and tackle social isolation. The national lockdown has seen many vulnerable people become more isolated, and so W&T have adapted how they deliver the project so they can continue to reach people during the crisis. Their first online course proved very successful with participants gaining a lot from the sessions.

“We have found that laughing together has been a really wonderful and important thing for our wellbeing. Sharing humour with each other really connects us and is something that we may not get the opportunity to do in lockdown and isolation,” said Janice.

During the first online course, W&T have created two films – Lockdown Diaries, a series of stand-up routines that reflect participants’ experiences of social isolation – and Laughter in Lockdown, which shows the different ways that we worked together during the course.