HOW TO COMPERE WELL on an April afternoon in central London, with Markus Birdman.



COMPERING SMART: How to Compere Well

"Top comedy courses”:


We anticipate that COMPERING SMART will be delayed until very soon after Lockdown ends, and small gatherings look likely to be permitted so that comedy shows won't be far away.

Therefore please enrol, and then we will keep you updated about the potential date, which naturally will be mutually agreed.

If you want further information please email

Keep well, Hils


The compere is the most important comedian on the bill, often being the difference between a gig being a success or a car-crash.

“I recommend your course to anyone who would like to be an MC, or is and wants to improve” 
“Brilliant … Invaluable”  

“A new awareness of all aspects of the role, and the different possible approaches has given me more confidence and enthusiasm”  
"Learning from the session leader's real life examples was interesting and beneficial"
“I enjoyed realising what was relevant material and discovering about interacting more with the audience”   
“Amazing value - sign up now”  

This interactive yet thorough session is for gigging comedians who want to start compering, as well as those who already compere but want to improve.  The content provides an extensive understanding of compering.   NB: the theory and practice of stand-up itself will not be included, so this is not suitable for anyone who is not a gigging comedian.

The compere is essential in creating an environment in which the other comedians on the bill can flourish.  If you’ve ever heard a comedian say “The audience are nice tonight”, it is almost certainly because the compere made them nice.  Had it been a bad compere, there is every chance that the potentially ‘nice’ crowd may have become unplayable.

Learning to compere can massively benefit a stand-ups career.  Not only are good comperes always in demand, but the skills and experience you gain from compering feeds into your abilities as a stand-up.  Many household name comedy performers including Graham Norton, Eddie Izzard, Frank Skinner and Adam Hills honed their skills as resident comperes of comedy clubs.

In just one afternoon session the basics of compering will be covered, plus for example the more advanced skills of bantering with your audience, working the room and dealing with hecklers, while also highlighting the bad habits to avoid. 

It will help you consider the development of your own style and give you the skills, strategies and inside information, so you can compere with confidence, and remain calm, in control, and capable of creating a friendly, focussed room, ready for a fantastic night of comedy.

The session is led by Markus Birdman who, with over 18 years experience, is in the elite group of stand-ups who compere at The Comedy Store.  He is up-to-date and really knows about current trends etc, and has extensive awareness of comedy compering of all types in all kinds of situations.  TimeOut featured Markus in their Top Ten Comedians list, confirming that he is in demand as one of the most respected and well travelled British gigging comedians and comperes by all the big comedy clubs, not just in the UK but also internationally.  He has appeared on television around the globe (including Festival Galas, and a Netflix Special in Amsterdam), been nominated for numerous comedy awards as far afield as New Zealand and Australia as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe, and in London has appeared at Soho Theatre and the O2.

In outline the content will be along the lines of a brief introduction and the job/responsibilites of a compere, participation by volunteers to demonstrate examples onstage, with discussion/suggestions/worshopping improvements/possibilities of different compering styles, plus the different elements of a show from the comperes perspective of opening the gig, between acts, opening second half, closing the gig, and dealing with people who might or do interrupt you and/or the acts.  In addition there will be Do's and Don'ts, promoter/booker's expectations (including timings), strategies, and other/expanded topics, as time permits.


Date:     Sunday 10 May (12.30 to 5.30pm)

Venue:  Karma Sanctum Hotel’s cinema, 20 Warwick Street, Soho, London W1B 5NF
             Tubes: Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus

HOW TO ENROL: The course fee is £75 ... enrol here (or on 
If you want to pay by cheque or in cash, please email for the postal address

To complete your enrolment email with your stage name and mobile number so we can link you with your fee payment

DETAILS WILL BE RECONFIRMED BY EMAIL A FEW DAYS BEFOREHAND.  It is not expected that there will be any changes, and anything significant will be notified to you straightaway.