Stand Up Comedy Workshops at The ALE BAR Theatre

 443 New Cross Road, London, SE14 6TA 

  Tel: 07946 904208  

Next course dates:

3 hour taster session - Sat 13th July  BOOK

5 week Tues eve course starts Tues 18th June  BOOK

2 day weekend course start Sat 20th and Sun 21st July BOOK

Beginners 2 day acting course 27th & 28th July see here

 for all comedy courses  BOOK HERE

Headline comics as tutors!

Tues eves (5 weeks)

2 day Sat & Sun (weekend)

For the past four years, we have been awarded the full 5***** following all our reviews from the independent review website QYPE.  See all our ex student reviews in full on our review page and the full page reviews in

Click here to read them

Corporate comedy training available see: 
Matthew Giffin: ex student  stars in BBC3's 'THE FEAR'

Glen Sherman: ex student  gets signed to 'Jongleurs' after only 15 months from finishing our course who will be getting gigs at £200 plus per night!


Glen Sherman had never been behind a mic before  nor had used email and wasn't that savvy with computers, he'd turn up with jokes on scrapes of paper and in week one was as nervous as hell when had to stand up in front of the rest of the class.  He really put 110% effort in and with each gig he did, he built confidence and studied comics and the comedy industry and we even  spent some time with him, showing him basic computing which would help with the writing during the five weeks.  Although a nervous initial performer, he had an amazing comedy mind and each week got better and better and at the end he blew 'Up the Creek' away when he did the showcase and went on to win a comedy comp with the second gig he performed.  He was a breath of fresh air as he was a gag comic, real laugh out loud jokes and it is what  audiences wanted and he delivered.  All that effort has paid off as he has now been signed to the major comedy player in the UK, where he will be going out and getting gigs in the £200 plus a night range at their clubs plus he is going to be getting bigger and bigger over the next few years.   How do we know this, simple our course tutor spent 15 years working for Jongleurs as a headline comic, so we know the rewards he is going to get.     Glen is just one of our many success stories.  He also got featured as one to watch by 'Loaded'.

Feb 2018

ROD RICHARDSON WINS THE CAVENDISH ARMS COMEDY COMPETITION Doing first ever gig after he did our showcase beating 18 more established acts


Dave Green: ex student won Cavendish Arms major yearly stand up comedy competition!

This is a competition open to all new acts in the UK and each week they have 20 or so performers  ranging from never performed before up to those with a few years experience. It is a very popular London comedy night and most new acts play it. In the last 12 months we have had 19 of our ex students win it and 24 in the final three places. For 12 of those students it was the first performance they did after the course showcase.

Clips of students doing their first ever gig at our showcases:

 Below is our own purpose built training centre

       This is our own space, and has a dedicated training room set like a comedy club with stage and lights etc,   Free wifi and a great chill out area and bar


 The ALE BAR Theatre - New Cross 


  Courses offered
3 hour taster sessions

2 day weekend courses with London hotel inc if required

5 week Tues eve courses

MC training

Advanced courses

how to become a comedian
Why not come to our next showcase at


443 New Cross Road, New Cross, London, SE14 6TA

Free parking outside from 7pm & 2 mins from New Cross BR (zone 2)

Monday 22nd July 2019

Book Here

Doors 7.30pm - Starts 8pm  Tickets £10 Get there early as these shows sell out!

The venue has well stocked bar!

 Some of our ex students now earning money as stand up comics    


     All our courses are registered with the following providers

There are numerous comedy courses run around the UK, so what makes us so special?  Well check which of the following is important in chosing the right comedy course

1. THE TUTOR There are numerous comedy tutors teaching stand up comedy, not all of them stand up comics! Some are drama teachers and actors, some are stand up comics who haven't actually performed for many years. Some are new comics themselves with no real experience of the circuit and some are comics still playing smaller unknown comedy clubs. Our Tutors are CURRENT HEADLINE comics who you will see listed each week playing major comedy clubs such as 'Jongleurs' and other comedy clubs with 200 to 400 person capicity.  You can even come and see our tutors perform before deciding on our course.   We can supply a current gig list for all our tutors.  Ask other comedy courses for the same and you will discover some won't be able to provide any current gig list of their tutors (Some won't even be listed as comics anywhere). Also all our tutors hold C&G 7704 adult teaching certificates.

2. CLASS SIZE - We keep to 10 students per course. (Our weekend two day courses are a max of 6 students). Many other comedy courses as high as 25 students per course and there is no way individual students can get dedicated stage time each week with that many on a course.  Also each student gets an extra 1 to 1 session with the tutor a few days before their final showcase.  Plus we have our own classroom, ours 24/7 with wifi access, full glass roof, chill out zone and quiet room and full disability access.

3. PERFORMANCE SKILLS - This is an area often overlooked on most comedy courses which spend much of the time with stand up comedy writing skills.  We give you the writing and material gathering skills early in the course and most of the classroom time is spent honing your new 5 minute set to performance standard.   Most complete beginners are surprised by week 4 that they have a produced their own  5 minute set when in week one, they had no idea what they wanted to say on stage or had never been on stage before.   Week 5 and 6 are mostly spend getting that set to professional comic standards and for most this is where the hard work really kicks in.   In the last few weeks, the students are introduced to micro directing by the tutor where every word, movement and gesture on stage is worked out and rehearsed and improved.   Hence why at our last showcase, major comedy bookers said the following:

4.  SHOWCASE - Your showcase is in a purpose built fringe theatre venue with full stage lights and not some room above a pub! and you will be performing in the second half at aprofessional comedy night with pro acts in the first half and top MC!

Paul - Club Booker - UP THE CREEK 'Great night of comedy and each of them performed like a pro - amazing - you wouldn't know this was their first ever gig and how well trained to be able to play a big comedy club like this'

Katherine Webb - THE COMEDY COMPANY 'Each act had a well crafted 5 minutes and their performance skills and stagecraft was faultless. I noted some names to come and play at our comedy clubs for the new season'

Kevin Precious - BARNSTOMERS COMEDY CLUB CHAIN 'The mark has been set high with the first of these new acts and maintained throughout the night'

Mike Fox - BROMLEY & CROYDON COMEDY CLUB  'Just watching how each act handled a mic and conducted themselves on stage - you could see they had all been professionally trained'.

Maff Brown - 'OUTSIDE THE BOX' comedy club and past Chortle comedy club of the year winner 'Excellent'

Nick - 'PLUMSTEAD COMEDY CLUB' 'Both showcases I attended, the quality was so high'



We had a full page artical written about us in the Daily Telegraph, who  asked us to take their features writer (award winning Tania Gold) and within two hours, train her to perform three minutes of self generated material which she would then perform the same night at a comedy club.   One thing they forgot to mention was the club was 350 miles away at the Ed Festival and of course we are in London.  We managed it sucessfully even rushing her to the airport within minutes to catch her flight.

We also arranage a number of group trips and nights out for current and ex students and performers on special comedy school trips which include invites to our Xmas party and summer Picnic in the Park where we can let our hair down, laughing horse around and have fun.

After a show at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford and just before we hit the pub

What a record!

Glen Sherman' after 15 months on the circuit has been voted best  new stand up at the Jongleurs comedy club / Channel 4 pop 'Comic Idol' competition.

Nena Edwards has been out on the circuit 1 month and has been spotted and asked to play MJ in the long running hit aviation comedy 'Club Class' which has now toured over 180 large scale theatres around the UK.  

John Williams holds the record for ex students for the fastest comic to get a paid gig after doing their first showcase.  John did the showcase at Up the Creek on the Tuesday 12th Oct and was offered a £100 paid gig to do on the Friday 15th Oct in Kent from a booker who was in the audience. He has also been asked to MC another pro comedy club on a monthly basis.  

Suzanne Snowden won the best of the new acts competition on her second gig and has since returned to her native Oz stopping enroute at Hong Kong to do a gig and has secured spots at some great clubs in Melbourne. Once she returns she has a paid booking at 'Up The Creek' and some MC work lined up.    

Well done Sophie Richardson, 2 weeks after she finished the course she did a open spot for Mirth Control in Wimbledon and was immediatly asked by the promoter of that gig to do a paid spot in front of 250 people a few weeks later at Wimbledon AFC, a reguar pro comedy night.

Glen Sherman won the Cavendish Arms New Act Comp beating a very strong bill of 20 acts, not bad for someone who entered it three weeks after finishing the course. and you see from above he has gone on to winning bigger things!  Also a fellow student Claire Whitton from the same class was runner up.  (this would have been her first gig after doing her showcase). Both also got their first paid gigs within 4 weeks of finishing their training.

Nikki Philby has just been offered a contract as a cruise director with Celebrity Cruises.  She did our first ever comedy course and was a children's nanny at the time and had never been on stage before. Since her showcase she has got accepted as an entertainmnet host at a Norfolk Holiday Centre - hardly surprising that she is doing well as she was a  bundle of energy on stage during her showcase.

Katie Hearsey had been on the circuit 1 month after doing the course has won the Cavendish Arms in Clapham New Act Comp twice and is now secured a great new agent.

Catherine Stevens has now been on the circuit 7 months and after being spotted at our showcase was booked by one of the countries leading comedy club bookers to do a set at Bracknell Comedy Club.  This club isn't that well known around the open spots and newbies on the circuit but for the professionals, this is a highly regarded weekly comedy club along with it being the UK's longest running comedy club outside London.   This club doesn't often have open spots on and she was asked to do a short set in the middle section alongside some big named comics.  As we said, this club doesn't usually do open spots and they kept to that policy as after the gig which went really well she was asked to invoice them as she was to be given a fee as one of the acts on that night.  Well done 'Cat'  - Thing is are you ever going to send the invoice or frame it and hang it on your wall.

 Tony Marresse, a student on our Feb 2010 course has been offered a full paid gig just after the second time he performed.   Not only that, he has impressed a professional comedy club booker so much, he has been asked  to compare a professional Saturday night of comedy at the weekly Churchill Theatre comedy club in Bromley.  

Liam Smith since finishing the course early 2010 has now secured over £500 of paid work in the four months out on the circuit.  He has also won the Cavendish Arms New Act Competition a number of times and it was suggested that to give some others a chance he holds off entering for a while.   This man is the one to watch, lots of interest in him from agents and main comedy club bookers.  

Eric Storm was spotted at our showcase by our theatre casting director and is now on tour playing Peter Quince for 'Shakespeare in The Park' 

Chris Askew for winning the Gordon Ramsay Comedy Comp on the first time he performed since the showcase. Chris head lines  an 'Up The Creek' showcase and gets lunch at  a Gordon Ramsay venue as part of the prize.

Trinny Denny after finishing her course started up a comedy club which turned into a much larger bussiness and now runs a big comedy agency dealing with major corporate clients.

Steve Adams won the Cavendish Arms comedy comp on the first gig he did after doing the showcase. 

Simon J Shepherd now has a Equity Card and much in demand as a performer and actor via doing the course. There is more to it then just getting a crowd laughing horse around a bit maybe, the skill he found was being taught how to to both and in a controlled and performanced based structure.   A new career in comedy School hasn't been this much fun since he left OXFORD!


07946 904208

Our venue can be hired to theatre companies for rehearsals during the day