Your Tutor - Harry Denford & Comedy Course Manager Lara Turkina & your MC Tony Maresse
Your tutor is described in one review as ‘Fat, fun, firm and fair’ and what more could you want from a comedy tutor. He is creative, quick thinking and very experienced. Above all he is still out there as a working headline comedian at major comedy clubs around the UK, is very supportive and above all a really nice bloke. Aso when looking at comedy courses, many are run by newer or even open spots, Harry plays the biggest comedy cubs and spent years as the main closing act at places like 'Jongleurs' and so teaches to the standard to play main clubs .
LARA TURKINA - Course Manager
Recent Staff meeting! the third person at the meeting is of course our regular MC at 'Up The Creek 'Tony Meresse who you can't see as someone had to take the picture
HARRY DENFORD - Tutor
Harry has been a professional stand up comic since 1993 and within six months of doing a first ever open spot, he already had a paid gig at 'Jongleurs' in Camden and has continued to work for them as a comic ever since, along with headlining at other major comedy club chains. He still performs weekly as a headline act. Harry plays a 'Saff London' geezer on stage which is 100% removed from the real Harry and he got into stand up after years working in aviation as a commercial airline pilot. We invite you to see a clip of him below performing on YOU TUBE, and remember people are shocked when they first meet him as he is nothing like the stage persona, he doesn't even have a 'SAFFF' London accent!
In 2003, he wrote a stage play for a London Fringe theatre and has since written nine full length stage plays all of which have been performed at as professional productions at theatres around the UK. A comedy he wrote in 2005 called 'Club Class' has now been seen at over 180 large scale UK theatres and each year it is still being performed somewhere around the UK. In 2007 he penned the 5* reviewed 'Joy Division' about Nazi sex slaves which has had two successful London theatre runs. He also wrote a special full length play for Shakespeare's Rose Theatre in London called 'A Rose Without A Thorn' which premiered there in 2008. He has since written or directed three plays for this iconic and historic theatre.
He made his professional directing debut in 2006 with Godbers 'Shakers' on a national tour and is now much in demand as a stage director and in 2010 directed a major UK large scale professional tour of 'A Midsummer’s Night Dream' and has also in 2010 has directed a professional panto, a TIE tour of ‘Chartist Rising’, a regional tour of ‘The Cherry Orchard’ and in 2011 is directing a major large scale tour of ‘Twelfth Night’. Over the past few years Harry has had plays performed which he either wrote or directed at major theatres such as ‘The Wycombe Swan’, ‘Yvonne Arnold’ in Guildford, ‘The Lowery’ in Manchester, ‘The Derby Playhouse’, ‘The Everyman Theatre’ in Liverpool and The Malvern Theatre.
Harry often uses ex students who have some pro acting exp in touring productions. Half of the cast on a 2010 major theatre tour where ex London Comedy Course students. See video below
Harry underwent a teacher training course in 2008 for us, although he already had years of teaching practice as a qualified flying instructor. We use Harry not only for the excellent record and the skill he has as a professional comic, but also as a pro theatre director, he can really bring the performance aspect out of the students and the results he brings from our students are amazing. He also has an excellent relationship with commercial comedy club bookers such as Mirth Control, so can use his connections to push some students into some great comedy clubs for us.
In his spare time he still flies but now just for fun and also undertakes some volunteer roles including arranging and carrying out spot checks on police stations to check on the welfare of those in custody. He loves travel and has visited most parts of the world including in 2008 on the way back from performing a stand up show in Singapore, he got stuck at Bangkok airport for 3 days when rioters took over the airport shortly after he landed for a connecting flight to London and because of his background in aviation for a few days he became the un-official on scene reporter for the BBC and the Times. By the way he crash landed twice, including once at RAF Northolt which nearly killed a member of the Royal family which made the national papers. Don't worry as both times it was the plane at fault and not him. Interesting fact is that he took up flying after years of suffering from vertigo. There is a funny video of Harry flying a plane in the video section on this website.
Harry you will discover during the course loves pubs but oddly has never drank alcohol and is a life time teetotaler and hard to believe especially when you see the stage persona. He is a member of the local model railway club and is building a Russian 00 scenic layout which sounds anoraky and well, basically it is somewhat.
Feel free to call him with any questions on the course on 07946 904208
This is boring and sad but he wanted to show a picture of the 00 guage train layout is is building. And yes that is matchsticks used to make the Dacha and yes that is a hard boiled egg on the church dome painted gold. Lara thinks it looks nothing like a Russian village.
TONY MARESSE - YOUR MC
Tony took the course in 2009 and went in to do our compare course and has been working as a pro MC for a number of major comedy clubs including Bromley Comedy Club and Comedy at Fairfield Halls in Croydon (both theatre gigs). He is also the regular MC at TNT and our New Cross Comedy Club each month and of course your mc at your comedy showcase. Tony has got into doing sketches and did some first stage acting when we put him forward for a national theatre tour of a Shakespeare comedy. He is also a charecter comic which he sometimes does when not MC'ing and has voiced over some Channel 4 shows. To see Tony in action with the new 'Kill TV' sketch show click here
RICHARD GREEN - Bar Manager
Richard knows about beer and during the day works for a famous micro brewery (our venue sells their beers) and is a bit of a foodie and taken a number of wine exams. He away from the beer and wine is involved with a number of wildlife projects including working on the Eco park in Greenwich.