C H R I S
H E A D
CHRIS HEAD is the author of Creating Comedy Narratives for Stage and Screen and A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up both published by Bloomsbury Methuen. He is one of the UK's most sought after live comedy directors and writing/performance teachers with over twenty-five years experience. His live directing work has been seen at Soho Theatre, Bloomsbury Theatre (London), Pleasance, Assembly and Underbelly (Edinburgh), Melbourne Comedy Festival and LA Comedy Shorts. Chris works one-to-one with comedy writers and offers regular courses online and in person in London and elsewhere in stand-up, sketch and sitcom. He also helped devise and teaches on the BA Comedy Degree at Bath Spa University and delivers corporate speaking training based on stand-up skills.
R E V I E W S (Directing & Coaching)
N E W S
“Head’s style is refreshingly breezy and simultaneously substantial. He offers practical insights: for example, audiences do not laugh at material, they laugh with or at the performer who discovers a compelling comedic self. In this remarkable manual, Head demonstrates what Horace Walpole once observed, namely that life is a comedy to those who think. And Head helps each comedic persona think.”
CHOICE (USA) on "A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up"
"There are poignant moments in Chris Head’s production... but any threatened earnestness is undercut with wit or absurdity... The most entertaining elements here are the meta-theatrical interludes, in which Dunn and Metcalf step out of the action to talk about their creative process. The rivalry that characterises their double act is brilliantly sustained with faultless comic timing".
The Times (on "You Only Live Forever", Edinburgh Fringe 2018)
"It’s beautifully directed - the drama of the play develops alongside the comedy of the between-scene interludes: ingenious & compelling."
Gyles Brandreth (on "You Only Live Forever", Edinburgh Fringe 2018)
"For the next 10 weeks, every Wednesday evening, in a room above a pub in central London, I learned how to be funny. My tutor was called Chris... His understanding of comedy was captivating, encyclopaedic."
Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor (writing in the Guardian) on Chris Head's stand-up course
"Everyone who attended [the stand-up course] managed to craft five minutes of comedy delivered with surprising confidence and pizazz on the night [of the end-of-course show]. The performances I saw were incredibly polished and (thankfully) very funny. While naturally some were funnier than others, I would never have guessed they were a bunch of first timers. "
London Evening Standard
"Having brought his stand-up course into 180 Amsterdam, Lida and The Mill, Chris Head is an advocate for the fact that many of the skills needed to perform comedy on stage can translate into other creative spheres."
Mark Sinclair, Creative Review
"I've been on several comedy courses and there's only ever been lip-service paid to the writing element. Chris actually makes sure we produce something and he's very good at giving supportive, technical feedback."
Mary McKenna, Marketing Consultant (quoted in The Guardian)
“Chris has a magical way of gently extracting your best, then making you feel like it was all your idea....”
Craig Leggo, Comic
“The ideal person to nurture new talent.”
John Crace, The Guardian
Swiped: Comedy Short
Steve Whiteley's award-winning debut short film ‘Swiped’, which I helped develop and script-edited won the 2019 Silver and Peoples Lovie Award. It was also nominated for the 2019 Edinburgh TV Festival New Voices Award for best pilot and is an official selection at numerous Oscar & BAFTA qualifying festivals including DC Shorts, Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival, Encounters and Palm Springs Intl ShortFest.
I'm currently working with Steve on the spin-off sitcom project ‘Woke Heroes’ for Channel 4. watch the short
Wisebowm: BBC Radio 4 Pilot
Delighted that Steve Whiteley (who I have been directing for a number of years) has landed a BBC Radio 4 pilot of a sitcom based around his character Wisebowm. I helped develop and script-edited the show. Listen
"You Only Live Forever"
Soho Theatre August 2019
"The Yank is a Manc" Brighton, Manchester, Camden & Edinburgh
I'm directing Hopwood Depree in this stand-up storytelling show about how he left his life in Hollywood and moved to the north of England to rescue his crumbling ancestral home. Top 5 pick at Brighton Fringe in Broadway Baby and nice write up on bbc.co.uk
Next stops Manchester, Camden and Edinburgh Fringes. More info
Comedy Degree (Sept 2019)
Yes I've co-created and teach on a comedy degree that's running at Bath Spa University. Our first year's intake have just completed semester one (and are satisfied customers). 19/20 applications now open. More info
Book launch (Sept 2018)
My book "A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up" was launched at Soho Theatre with a comedy show, readings and a general hobnob.