With Adelaide Fringe encouraging people to “experience something new”, the Funny Farm Comedy Workshop helps Fringe-goers do just that.
For many, Adelaide Fringe comedy acts are the highlight of the season but there are quite a few audience members hankering to give stand-up a try themselves. Award-winning comedienne Maggie Wood says that’s how she started.
“Back in the 2000 Fringe I won a competition with SAFM’s breakfast radio show to review comedy acts at the Fringe. I saw so many that I longed to have a go myself.”
That experience was directly responsible for Maggie taking up comedy and she has since performed at the Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringes and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, as well as being nominated for two awards. She was also part of the team that won the 2007 Adelaide Fringe People’s Choice Award.
“Now it’s my turn to give other people that opportunity.”
Maggie began the Funny Farm Stand Up Comedy Course for Beginners after the experience of teaching women comedy for Country Arts SA changed her life. She began to study Coaching and Neuro Linguistic Programming because she could see that the benefits of teaching people to “find the funny in life” went beyond laughs from the stage.
“People grew in confidence, their self-esteem increased and because they were training their brains to look for the funny in the world, they were less likely to be sad or depressed,” said Maggie.
“Some people do the comedy course because they’re curious, they’ve always wanted to try it out, wondered if they’re funny, or maybe even just to improve their presentation skills for their business or career. However everyone has gone away with a new appreciation for the art and the craft of stand-up, and some are now even going on to perform – something they said they would never do.”
The secret to this boost in aspirations is the safe and nurturing environment Maggie creates with her groups. Rehearsing comedy incurs the necessary risk of sometimes not being funny. That’s where the strength of a good-hearted group comes to the fore, giving constructive feedback and, because everyone is in the same boat, people bond and make strong friendships. Giving people a soft place to fall gives them courage to try more new things.
The one-day workshop will give just a taste of what the full course is like and a mini-show at the end of the day will let participants perform their material to the group so they can say that they’ve performed at the Adelaide Fringe!
Maggie Wood’s Funny Farm – Stand Up Comedy Workshop
Where: Upstairs, The Store, 157 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide
When: Saturdays: 21, 28 February and 7 March.
Tickets: All tickets $38
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at the FringeTix box offices