“If it weren’t for fear, I wouldn’t have to teach you a damn thing” – Keith Johnstone (2007)

Neil teach improvisation skills (improv) to individuals, teams and organisations. He also uses improv as a training tool with organisations in many areas including Communication, Team Building, Public Speaking, and Leadership. From an academic perspective, Neil believes that Improv is his Pedagogy.

To some people, the act of improvising is; speaking off the cuff; making decisions under pressure; building effective teams in poor performing areas; speaking to influence. These areas are where a person can feel very much out of their comfort zone or even associate with fear and anxiety. His passion as a trainer is guiding participants through the process for them to first overcome their fear and go on to potentially master the area he/she wishes to develop further. People choose to undertake this type of training for different reasons. E.G. To increase confidence; to be able to present with impact; to foster collaboration.

Neil's format for my training and courses undertakes a non-traditional classroom based approach. Classes are practical and applied, with people learning by doing where people are taught through individual and group based exercises.

As with Kolbe’s Learning cycle (2014), it is recognised that we all learn in different ways. With this training, people have opportunities to learn by doing, observing, reflecting and thinking throughout the classes. Formative and peer feedback is used throughout every class.

As a trainer in this area, it’s very important that empathy and a positive, supportive environment is created in order to have a fertile ground for the learning and development to take place. Understanding of emotional intelligence aids the learning process (Goleman 1996).

The effects on students can be profound and the immediate reactions gathered from the students after completion of a course always amazes me. Some have even gone as far as saying that it has changed their life. As a trainer, this is the best evaluation possible.

Neil holds a Masters in Training & Education, is a qualified Executive Coach with EQi certification.


Goleman, D. (1996) Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ, Bloomsbury Publishing: London.

Johnstone, K. (2007) Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre, A&C Black.

Kolb, D.A. (2014) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, 2nd ed. FT Press.

Who has Neil trained with?

John Cremer – The Maydays
Jules Munns – The Nursery Theatre / The Maydays
Kate Schutte – The Maydays
Lloydie James Lloyd -The Maydays
Heather Urquhart – The Maydays
Joe Samuel – The Maydays
Rebecca MacMillan – The Maydays
Steve Roe – Hoopla Improv
Trent Pancy – The improvAcademy

James Power – Stagemad Theatre
Ronan O’Leary
Peter O’Byrne
Sharon Mannion
Danny Kehoe
John Conroy
Margaret Curran
Brian Quinn
John Turtington

North America
Jason R. Chin – iO Chicago
David Razowsky – iO / Second City
Susan Messing – Annoyance Theatre / iO Chicago / Second City
Jill Bernard – HUGE Theatre
Tara DeFrancisco – iO Chicago
Kevin Mullaney – Under The Gun Theatre Chicago / UCB
Will Luera – Florida Studio Theatre / ImprovBoston
Marshall Stern & Nancy Howland Walker – Zenprov
Brian James O’Connell (Coaching) – Pack Theatre / iO West
Craig Cackowski – iO West
Carla Cackowski – iO West / Second City
Lydia Hensler – UCB
Lloyd Ahlquist – Westside Comedy
Colleen Doyle – iO West
Ithamar Enriquez – iO West
Bob Dassie – iO West
Paul Vaillancourt – iO West
Jason Pardo – iO West
Katie Nahnsen – iO West
Drew Droegen – The Groundlings / iO West
Celeste Pechous – Second City
Eric Hunicutt – iO West
Vinny Francois – Montreal Improv
Andel Sudik – Second City
Kaci Beeler – Parallelogramophonograph
Roy Janik – Parallelogramophonograph
Kareem Badr – Parallelogramophonograph
Valerie Ward – Parallelogramophonograph
Jeff Kramer – Comedysportz


  • Sile Seoige
    I’ve had such a brilliant time taking part in Neil’s course and I’d highly recommend it.
    Sile Seoige
    TV Presenter
  • Christine L
    Neil created a really safe, fun and supportive environment and he is fantastic teacher. Improv was always something that I loved watching and admired the performers hugely but never would have had the confidence to do myself until now. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and can’t wait to do more!
    Christine L
  • Aife B
    It gave us the opportunity to think outside our usual habits, and in particular I learned to take my head out of my smart phone and laptop and give people the attention they deserve. This small point alone helps me communicate, and ultimately do my job, better. I thought Neil’s instruction was particularly good and he mediated the group in a masterful way, guiding us through exercises and putting everyone at ease while out of their comfort zones. We would highly recommend this workshop!
    Aife B
  • Cathal O’D.
    To say that I enjoyed the Neil’s improv course is an understatement. During of the course the group really bonded and week on week we could see the improvement in each other communication and improvisation skills and that was very much due to Neil’s tuition. I learned loads and thoroughly enjoyed it. Neil really knows his improv!
    Cathal O’D.
    Student and co founder of “A Pile Of Rocks” Improv troupe
  • Pearl O’Rourke
    Neil’s improv course was fantastically organised and focused on a different theme each week. This made the whole process really satisfying as we could see the group growing and improving together. I was SO nervous before the first class as I had just recently seen my first improv show and been blown away! However, I’m now a total improv addict. It’s one of the most freeing, meditative and fun things you can do.. so DO IT!”
    Pearl O’Rourke
    ‘Tumbleweed’/”Histrionic” Improv Troupe
  • Louise McHugh
    Neil’s Level 1 and 2 improv exceeded my expectations. He has an inspirational teaching style that gave me the freedom to express myself and try out new experiences in a safe environment. The techniques and exercises were really well paced and Neil has a unique ability to bring everyone along at their own pace. From someone who didn’t even want to get up and do a single scene on day one- trust me, once Neil gets you to the end of Level 2 you will be dying to do your own live show!
    Louise McHugh
    Lecturer, UCD
  • Amanda Whitehead
    I had many reasons for wanting to do Neil’s improv course. What I got from the course was a whole lot more. Neil not only taught me about improv, he also taught me about having self confidence and about living in the moment. The most important thing I learned from Neil’s improv class is freedom, simply just freedom. Doing improv is an amazing experience and Neil is an excellent tutor who mentors his students every step of the way. It will be the best thing you ever do so go do it!
    Amanda Whitehead
    TheComedyScoop.com / Krank.ie
  • Lisa Walsh
    A class like no other. Honestly, I can’t thank you enough for creating such a warm safe learning space, caring for our sensitive brains and hearts whilst exposing us to such exciting and delightful play. I’ve been in lots of learning environments over the years but never one led with such a grounded emotionally safe, clarity and compassion-filled tone and so I thank you thousands for establishing just that, filling it with magic moments of made-up-ness
    Lisa Walsh
    Improv Level 1 & 2 Participant
  • Anna Shelswell-White
    I highly recommend Neil’s course to anyone with a fear of public speaking or if they suffer from social anxiety. Aside from learning some really valuable skills, feeling brilliant and overcoming my own fears, I met some of the best people and have made some life-long friends. Improv is so liberating! I’m so glad I did it.
    Anna Shelswell-White
    Editor, House & Home Magazine
  • Dr. Sim Lew-Gor
    Improv with Neil surpassed my expectations in many ways. The classes delivered were far more enjoyable and fun than I could have imagined. That was in part due to the nature of improv but in much larger part due to Neil’s skills in teaching, understanding, perception and communication. I was imagining a tuition on how to “do” whose line is it anyway type of scenarios but was surprised to be exploring the barriers that we have constructed as adults. And then I was given the encouragement and space to tear these barriers down and relearn vital skills we had as children. Subsequently life is now viewed through a different prism with a clarity that has more colours and depth of perception than ever before.
    Dr. Sim Lew-Gor
    Consultant, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin
  • Sile Seoige
    I have to be honest, the first time I met Neil, I was scared. Scared because I didn’t really know what improv was about and I had no idea if I could do it or not! But in the space of an hour learning the basics, I went from reserved to liberated, I was hooked! I discovered straight away that improv is for anyone and everyone and that there are no mistakes only opportunities! All you have to do is let go, listen to your fellow improvisors and simply let the magic happen. I’ve had such a brilliant time taking part in Neil’s course and I’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn a bit more about themselves and anyone who wants to feel like a kid again and just play!
    Sile Seoige
    TV Presenter

Frequently asked questions

1Where has Neil taught?
Aside from the above festivals and theatres, Neil has also taught/performed improv in theatres and festivals Shanghai, New York, Orange County California, and Brussels. Neil has taught improv to a number of well known Irish personalities including Síle Seoige, Daniella Moyles, Jenny Buckley, Rick O’Shea, Paddy McKenna, Shane Gillen, Jenny Dixon and Sineád Burke to name but a few.
2Improv as an art or a skill?
Neil teaches improvisation as both a performing art and as a corporate skill. Neil uses Improv as a training tool for companies and sample clients include Smurfit Business School, UCD, AIB, Bank of Ireland, IMI, HSE, NTMA, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, and Enterprise Ireland to name but a few Neil has 20 years of management and corporate experience in an international context. He has led teams throughout his career having held a senior leadership position in the Irish subsidiary of a multinational organisation. Neil is also an associate faculty of the IMI (Irish Management Institute) and a team member of The Core Story Ltd, providing story and strategy consulting and training to clients across Europe. For details on upcoming shows, please check out the “Neil+1” page here.
3Why work with Neil?
Neil is a veteran improviser with over 10 years of improv experience and 20 years of corporate management experience in the multinational sector, including senior management level. Neil has taught improv to a number of organisations around the world. His signature show, Neil+1, has been performed to much acclaim around the world. Neil holds a Masters in Training & Education as well as being a qualified Executive Coach.