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Comedy Writing

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Course Fee:


  • Start Date(s): 20 January 2024
  • Duration: Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 4 pm, two days
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


This course will inspire you to bring laughter to the world.

Are you curious about writing a sitcom, comedy sketch or funny skit, but don’t know where to start?

On this course you’ll explore the foundations of writing funny things for theatre, audio and screen.

It’s ideal for anyone with a passion for comedy and an interest in turning your ideas into writing, or anyone who's already started writing and is looking for some help to take the next steps.

It will help you to forge new ideas and skills in writing, hone your existing knowledge and challenge you creatively with the support of a group of like-minded people.

You’ll gain an appreciation for the art of comedy writing and examine classic sitcoms and sketches to develop your understanding.

You’ll focus on a different aspects of comedy writing, looking at jokes, themes, characters, setting, structure, action, genre, form, tone and editing.

  • By the end of the course, you’ll have written a ten-minute comedy script, and have an opportunity to share your creations with the group.
  • You’ll leave with a network of fellow writers and potential collaborators with whom you can progress your work further, and you’ll have connected with the scriptwriting community in the East Midlands.

What you’ll study

The course will cover these key themes:

  • getting started – finding the inspiration to write
  • the theory behind comedy and what skills are required to create a good piece of comedy
  • experimenting with your ideas and how to find original content
  • creating believable characters and settings
  • how to find your comedy-writer voice
  • the art of redrafting – the end is just the beginning!

Sessions will be delivered through group discussions, in-class writing exercises and pair work, in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

You’ll receive personalised and structured feedback from the tutor on your written scripts so you can continue to develop your piece after the course.

How you’re taught

Tutor Profile: Hugh Dichmont is an award-winning dark comedy writer.

Often absurd, dark, and featuring oddball characters, Hugh’s scripts for audio, screen and stage include the Bread & Roses Award-winning ‘Who You Are and What You Do’, a multi-narrative play about the intersection between science, commerce and happiness, featuring suicidal clowns, washed-up child actors and a couple who live Christmas every day.

One of the reviews reads ‘An attempt to try and appear cleverer and more high-brow than the show actually is’ by


His satirical podcast series, ‘The Future History of the British Isles’, mythologises a future in which the very worst has happened; Nottingham leaves the UK, London declares war on Yorkshire, and Black Rains cast the home counties into a shamanistic tribe of cannibals. But with jokes.

Other credits include the UK tour of ‘The War on Terry’, a dark comedy monologue about depression (one of FringeReview’s ‘Top Ten Plays Not to Miss’).

Hugh has also had plenty of short pieces performed in theatres across the UK, including Nottingham Playhouse, Midlands Arts Centre, Theatre 503, Old Red Lion, the Pleasance and The Vaults.

Other awards include New Perspectives Open Pitch winner and Old Vic 12 Longlist. Hugh currently has several short film projects in development.

Campus and facilities

You will be studying creative writing in a UNESCO City of Literature, and be based in the School of Arts and Humanities on the City Campus.

You will find modern teaching spaces and quiet study environments to develop your ideas and writing.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Open to all

Entry requirement: No previous experience is required.

You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course.

Level: Open to all

Entry requirement: No previous experience is required.

You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £240

Payment is due at the time of booking.

The fee for this course is £240

Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply

This course is available for booking via the NTU online store:

20 - 21 January 2024