|YOU'RE HAVING A LAUGH! | Tessa Dunlop breaks into
the world of stand-up comedy|
Fancy yourselves as the next Billy Connolly? or
if even Brian Connolly will do, then Inside Out has the answer.
Tessa Dunlop takes to the stage to find out if
comedy is Something you can learn.
Is it really possible to learn how to be funny? Marek
Tribedi of Virginmirth believes it is.
Realising everyone needs a bit of help before that painful
first standup gig, Marek, a semi-professional comedian, runs workshops
for those curious to see whether they can get a laugh on stage.
|Can you learn
to be funny? Alice and Marek of Virginmirth believe you can|
Virginmirth is the result - a frequent workshop held in
a small local theatre. Marek and his colleague Alice structure the day
with a series of games, exercises and advice, all with the intention of
instilling confidence into the wannabe comics.
So who on earth would bother paying good money to undergo
ritual humiliation in the company of strangers? Well quite a few it would
There’s Sarah Archer from Swindon who works in Human Resources
and has a young child, Sam Dutfield from Bristol who works in mental health
(no jokes please), a fencing coach from London, a cheeky Northerner and
a rather shy boy who blushed easily. Oh, and Tessa Dunlop, our presenter.
Tessa’s brother is actually a standup and she prepares
her set with his help. Rather bizarrely she decides to adopt a ‘comic
persona’ along with a strong Scottish accent and bunches. This is, she
insists, the only way she will ever have the guts to perform.
our trainee comedians raise a giggle out of the audience?|
The group is slightly nervous and inhibited, but a combination
of comic talent and Tessa’s infectious clowning soon has them loosened
up and well on the way.
The culmination is a mini performance. Each pupil stands
in the spotlight to perform their piece in front of the other candidates
and video camera.
However, for those who do not get put off at this stage,
there is a surprise in store. Marek arranges for the group to perform
at a well-known standup night.
The venue is the Bunch of Grapes in Bristol, whose walls
are plastered with posters of the performers who have slipped in from
the stage door of the Hippodrome across the street.
Get up, standup
It's time for the trainees to put their new skills into
practice in front of a live audience and even worse, the Inside Out cameras.
Tessa really named after the family dog?|
Whilst some rely on dancing school disco style to Kylie's
classic, 'I should be so lucky', our Scottish Tessa opts for a more intellectual
assessment of the roots of her name. So is she more of a Tess of the D'Urbervilles,
or Tessa the family dog? We let you make your own mind up!
This really is a baptism of fire for our virgin comics,
but with a kind audience and a smattering of giggles, all survive relatively
unscathed. But do they have a future?
A gig comes up at the Jesters Comedy Club. It is their
big student night which can attract up to 200 rowdy students, drunk on
the cheap lager and the charged atmosphere - a far cry from the friendly
crowd of locals at the Bunch of Grapes.
Will our wee Scottish lassy and her bunches swap Inside
Out presenting for a life as a standup? You must be joking!