From Our Editors
The Comedy School, based at Gloucester Gate, North-West London, is unique in the UK as the only arts organisation of its kind. Its mission is to enhance the lives of local people and communities using arts and performance with a comedic edge. The Comedy School was set up 15 years ago by Director Keith Palmer, to help sharpen the skills of young performers through workshops and projects; and to enable the community at large, from school children to prisoners and all points between, to use the creativity and stimulation that comedy performance brings to encourage social skills and literacy. Their many varied workshops include stand-up, comedy acting, writing, improvisation, and clown courses, all headed by tutors with experience of working in such organisations as the BBC and ITV. The many courses run by The Comedy School mean that there is something for everyone, whether the intent is a career in the performing arts or merely to explore a creative side. As well as the many workshops and courses for paying adults, the Comedy School also works with schools, youth centres and community centres to establish projects to encourage young people to stay off the streets and go into a more creative sphere. The many challenges that face young people, such as anti-social behaviour and crime, are addressed in these workshops and projects with a view to helping them to think more positively about their responsibilities to society as a whole. The Comedy school even works with the Criminal Justice System, providing workshops within secure units and prisons to help improve the offenders' employability and to raise self-esteem and literacy skills.