Comedian starts new course to keep Birmingham laughing

Award-winning funny man aims to teach budding comics.

After seven years teaching the popular course at mac, master classes at Warwick Arts Centre and for many corporate clients, James Cook is starting a new six week course created for anyone wanting to “find their funny”.

Based at the newly renovated Stirchley Baths, participants will learn how to write their own routines, then get a chance to show their skills at a gig at Kings Heath’s famous Hare & Hounds, the venue where a young Frank Skinner cut his teeth on the comedy circuit.

James has long been an advocate of finding new local talent, developing the Birmingham is Funny programme at mac and hosting the Birmingham Comedy Festival’s Breaking Talent night at The Glee Club.

Having just finished a run of 46 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, and with 14 years experience as a full-time comedian, James knows the business well. Previous students are now successfully gigging themselves, including Jay Handley, Danny Clives and Lindsey Santoro. But James isn’t worried about creating competition for himself.

“I love comedy. I want to see live comedy thrive. And Birmingham has a lot to offer the circuit. I’m not trying to sending out cookie-cutter comics. I’m trying to help people understand what they find funny so they can develop their own unique act.

“Often students don’t want to become comedians, they just want to push themselves to do something outside of their comfort zone. The courses always create a safe and supportive environment, so participants surpass their own expectations.”

The first course starts on 11th September 2017 and runs every Monday for six weeks at Stirchley Baths. The showcase will happen on Thursday 19th October at the Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath. Later courses will start on 6th November.

The full course costs £100 (plus booking fee). To book visit