COMEDY fans can learn the skills needed to perform on a stand-up show at a special weekend of professional workshops at Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre.

"Attitude - the Secret of Stand-up Comedy by Tony Allen" is a crash course for would-be stand-up comedians designed to equip participants with enough technique, understanding and self-confidence to devise and perform an original five-minute routine.

The course forms part of the Brewery’s Freerange Comedy Festival, which runs from 18-20 May and consists of four two-hour sessions with Tony, building up to a showcase performance when attendees can show off what they’ve learned in front of a small, live audience.

The workshops, which are rarely run outside London, include a variety of methods ranging from improvised ranting, creative writing, developing confidence and honing and heightening versions of everyday speech and behaviour. It is also appropriate for those working in other performance disciplines, such as performance poets and singer-songwriters looking to improve their on-stage persona and presentational skills.

The central theme of the workshop is “developing attitude” and participants are given continual feedback encouraging them to recognise and explore the unique, idiosyncratic quirks of their own personality.

Participants are encouraged to arrive half an hour early and use the time to socialise and warm up. They should have a small notebook and pen and be dressed to mess about.

Allen is often referred to as The Godfather of Alternative Comedy and was instrumental in the early days of London’s legendary Comedy Store venue, which gave household names such as Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall and Ben Elton an early platform for their burgeoning talent.

Numerous comedians have attended Allen's workshops over the years and gone on to forge successful careers as comedians including Jeff Innocent and Johnny Fluffypunk – who will be performing at the Brewery’s Freerange Comedy Club on Friday, May 18. That night's Freerange Comedy Club Special is to be hosted by award-winning comedian, political satirist and feminist Sameena Zehra, and will also include BBC Radio 4 regular Nick Revell.

Comedian and writer Revell is to premiere his new show at the Brewery on Saturday, May 19, based on his series of surreal and satirical stories broadcast on Radio 4, before taking it to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Meanwhile, youngsters keen on comedy are invited along to a special family matinee performance on Sunday, May 20, by the Comedy Club 4 Kids. Stand-up comedians and sketch acts from the international circuit will be tailoring their material especially for the early-afternoon audience of children, parents and grandparents.

To find out more about Tony Allen's workshops and all the events at the Brewery’s Freerange Comedy Festival, visit