Creating Comedy Narratives for Stage and Screen

Creating Comedy Narratives for Stage and Screen

by Chris Head


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on February 11, 2021


This accessible and engaging text covering sketch, sitcom and comedy drama, alongside improvisation and stand-up, brings together a panoply of tools and techniques for creating short and long-form comedy narratives for live performance, TV and online.

Referencing a broad range of comedy from both sides of the Atlantic, spanning several decades and including material on contemporary internet sketches, it offers all kinds of useful advice on creating comic narratives for stage and screen: using life experience as raw material; constructing comedy worlds; creating comic characters, their relationships and interactions; structuring sketches, scenes and routines; and developing and plotting stories.

The book's interviewees, from the UK and the USA, feature stand-ups, sketch comics, improvisers and TV comedy producers, and include Steve Kaplan, Hollywood comedy guru and author of The Hidden Tools of Comedy, Will Hines teacher and improviser from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Lucy Lumsden TV producer and former Controller of Comedy Commissioning for BBC.

Written by “the ideal person to nurture new talent” (The Guardian), Creating Comedy Narratives for Stage & Screen includes material you won't find anywhere else and is a stimulating resource for comedy students and their teachers, with a range and a depth that will be appreciated by even the most eclectic and multi-hyphenated writers and performers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781350155763
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 02/11/2021
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

Chris Head is a comedy director, teacher and script-editor. He has taught stand-up, sketch and sitcom for twenty years and teaches on the BA Comedy Degree at Bath Spa University. Chris recently script-edited BBC Radio and Channel 4 sitcom scripts, a comedy short film that was a global hit, and a sell-out comedy play seen at Assembly in Edinburgh and Soho Theatre in London (that he also directed). His stand-up directing work has been seen at Soho and Bloomsbury Theatres, Pleasance, Assembly and Underbelly in Edinburgh, and internationally.

Table of Contents



1. Creating, Developing & Presenting Characters
2. Persona: Yourself as a Character
3. Constructing a World of Characters


4. Comedy Styles and Worlds
5. Scenes, Sketches & Act Outs
6. Status Games
7. Parodies
8. Personification
9. Characters Interacting With Real People


10. Building Narrative: Fundamentals of Plotting
11. Plotting From Set Pieces
12. Plotting on the Fly
13. Basing A Narrative on a True Story
14. Creating Characters and a Narrative Around Facts and Information
15. Comedy Jourbaneys


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