School of Comedy

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet the players are driven to Elsinore by a company of child actors who have commandeered the urban stages. I know how they feel. School of Comedy are outrageously popular with the crowd who roar with laughter, their volume in inverse proportion to the age of the child involved. It’s a one-joke show and describing that joke won’t ruin it in the slightest: children act like adults. Whether that’s celebrity impersonations, television parodies or basic situational sketches, the age of the performer amplifies the content and consequently the laughter.

It’s a gimmick and the content of the sketches themselves, which are clichéd and poorly written, doesn’t live up to the audience response. The contrast between metrosexual men and ladettes on their respective stag and hen nights is a simple switch of expectations. The monologues that impersonate Jeremy Clarkson and The Queen have little substance, despite entertaining performances by the young actors. They’re battling against scripts that use their age rather than their talent; their distance from the topic at hand, rather than finding their own originality and personality.

The children are very skilled actors who would get top marks in their GCSE Drama and LAMDA exams with flying colours. They don’t quite have the same control as their adult counterparts, but they are a talented bunch of kids, with a lot of energy, perfect clarity and mostly a good grasp of their material. There are plenty of places, however, to go and see child acting of this standard or higher – plenty of West End musicals for example have outstanding child choruses, delivering much more exciting and experimental content. Many in the company may end up there. Using their age as a gimmick here, without pushing any boundaries, without creating anything new, doesn’t get them far enough at the moment.

At times the show is far too creepy for its own good. The serial boyfriend of a synchronised swimming team, Allan, implies he has slept with a lineup that includes a nine year old girl. There is a date-rape joke that, although framed with a tentative lack of endorsement, seems culturally loaded beyond the years of the boy asked to recite it. At the other end of the scale is the show’s finale, a charismatic ditty called ‘Bob Diamond is Forever’, all financial jargon and sassy delivery. It shows an ingenuity lacking in the majority of the other material and just how impressive the young people in the show can be when pushed.

If your idea of a great time is hearing a nine-year old girl shout the word ‘ketamine’ then you may well love School of Comedy. Many audience members clearly did and you could do worse than take their laughter as a positive recommendation. However, seasoned comedy audiences will demand something much more original and School of Comedy is as old as Shakespeare.

Reviews by Tom Moyser

Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

The Girl with the Hurricane Hands (and Other Short Tales of Woe)

Pleasance Courtyard

A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood

Traverse Theatre

Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?)

theSpace @ Jury's Inn



The Castle Builder


4D Cinema


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

The club behind the E4 show introduces its new cast! Aged between 9 and 16. Bugsy Malone on speed. 'Silly and brilliant' ***** (Times). ***** (List). ***** (Stage), 'A masterclass in comic timing' ***** (Metro).

Most Popular See More


From £39.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets