Subjects taught by Kate:
Stand Up Comedy
Kate Smurthwaite is a professional comedian who has taken ten solo shows to the Edinburgh Fringe and toured at venues around the country. In 2013 she won a Three Weeks Editor's Choice Award and was lauded as one of the ten best things about the Edinburgh festival. She is also a prolific comedy writer and has written for shows including Have I Got News For You and BBC 3's BAFTA-winning The Revolution Will Be Televised.
Kate’s comedy career started when she took a course in stand up. She then spent a decade honing her stage skills as resident MC at the critically acclaimed Soho Comedy Club, hosting shows three nights a week in the heart of London's entertainment district. As well as touring her solo comedy show, in her capacity as a political commentator Kate has appeared as a guest on programmes including Question Time and This Morning. Her humorous political columns have been published in The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman, Cosmopolitan and Stylist, and Kate has a regular column for New Internationalist.
Although Kate’s humour is quite political she does not teach one single style of comedy, and enjoys encouraging her students to experiment and find their own voice. On her beginners level courses, students try out a huge range of comedy and then start to hone their skills for a showcase performance. At improvers level there is more of a focus on stage persona and MCing and Kate helps her students develop longer sets and sketches. Kate aims to create a relaxed environment in which her students feel comfortable trying new things and refining their material.
Though many students join simply wishing to gain confidence or prepare for a best man speech, some have gone on to have success in the comedy circuit. Kate’s ex-students include Stephen Bailey – whose second solo show Shoulda Been A Popstar was short-listed for the Amused Moose Laugh-Off award – and Jen Belander, whose moving story of raising her autistic son became a comedy show called Mommautism: A Love Story and has toured around the UK and in Los Angeles.
"I just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for all the tips and exercises Kate gave me to help construct and write my own material! I feel like I have come out knowing a lot more than when I started, and I now have the comedy bug to just go out there and do it again and again!"
Aidan Sanders, Stand Up Comedy - Beginners