Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Sitcom Trials Goes To Hull - March 3rd

https://www.facebook.com/events/1517751631885943/

Announcing the first ever Hull Sitcom Trials on March 3rd 2016.

The good students of Hull University have taken it upon themselves to stage a Trials next year, and they want your scripts now. Deadline Feb 2nd. Send scripts directly to sitcomtrialshull@gmail.com

The evening will consist of three performances of your written scripts all ending in nail biting cliff-hangers. The audience will then vote for which one they want to see the ending to.

We need your script by the 2nd February, so give yourself a break from uni work over Christmas and get writing! Each script must be 15 minutes long, as funny as possible and end on a cliff hanger with a 5 minute resolution, email scripts to sitcomtrialshull@gmail.com.


The Sitcom Trials would like to thank Grace and Bethany from Hull University who are behind the show. All going well, The Sitcom Trials' own Kev F will be there to MC the event at Johnny Mac in Hull on March 3rd. Further details, and comments and questions, are here on Facebook.  


https://www.facebook.com/events/1517751631885943/

Monday, 23 November 2015

You Say Potato - from 2001's Edinburgh show



Here's a treat from the archives for you, online in its entirety for the first time, it's You Say Potato, as performed in The Sitcom Trials debut Edinburgh Fringe show, at the Gilded Balloon in 2001.

The venue is now Cabaret Voltaire, on Blair Street, which was then used as one of the Gilded Balloon's performance spaces, their base being Cowgate. The following year those offices burnt down and the GB moved to its present base in Teviot, Bristo Square.

This particular sitcom was written by and starred Miranda Hart, with her Orange Girls double act partner Charity Trimm, Dan Clegg and Gerard Foster. The other two sitcoms in competition were The Client by Harris & Blakewill (which went on to appear in the Sitcom Trials TV series), and Kiss Me Son Of God by Jonathan Kirby (aka me), which is now available as a Kindle script book.



UPDATE:Bruce Dessau has picked up on this and run it on his Beyond The Joke blog, for which many thanks. Sadly that probably means it'll come to Miranda's attention and she'll ask me to take it down, so enjoy it while you can.

PPS: He ends his piece with the line "The Sitcom Trials returns to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015". Which was nice to read, and certainly happened and no mistake. Read all about The Sitcom Trials' biggest season for years on this blog, maybe starting here.
The Sitcom Trials returns to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. - See more at: http://www.beyondthejoke.co.uk/content/1327/news-early-miranda-hart-comedy-discovered#sthash.QQ1Ykfsz.dpuf
The Sitcom Trials returns to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. - See more at: http://www.beyondthejoke.co.uk/content/1327/news-early-miranda-hart-comedy-discovered#sthash.QQ1Ykfsz.dpuf

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

BBC to mentor would-be comedy writers

BBC to mentor would-be comedy writers

BBC to mentor would-be comedy writers

New scheme for Scots

Six aspiring comedy writers in Scotland are to be given expert BBC mentoring to hone their skills.
Would-be writers are being invited to submit short videos to the new development scheme, Fast And Funny, with no experience necessary.

BBC staff will then select the six who will get to take part in workshops, masterclasses, and one-to-one sessions.

The focus is on short-form comedy, such as sketches and monologues, with entries having to be shorter than 90 seconds. Submissions from over-18s living in Scotland must be made by the end of November 13.

The BBC says: 'This is a rare opportunity to work with expert programme-makers, gain excellent feedback, develop your writing skills, understand what works online, experiment and have your work read by comedy producers.'

'It's open for anyone to apply – whether you consider yourself an aspiring comedy writer-performer, comedy writer, comedy actor or comedy actress – we are looking for people with funny bones who have a passion for short, snappy and fast turnaround content for online. There are no restrictions on experience.'

Full details of the scheme are available on the BBC Writers' Room.
Posted on Chortle: 3 Nov 2015

 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Halloween Sitcom Trials - the video(s)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6R5lOcDPGo

Click to view the highlights video from the Halloween Sitcom Trials 2015 from Manchester. And below you can see all four entries in full.

The four sitcoms in contention were:

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sects by Nathan Evans - Full video HERE
Baby Driver by Christy White-Spunner - Full video HERE
The Party by Sean Fee - Full video HERE
After Steven by James & Brown - Full video HERE

Plus, for the very first time (considering he started doing this well over a decade ago), the video of Kev F's warm up game is also online in its entirety. This week it was the search for The Best Food In A Sitcom. Clip HERE.

And the winner of the audience vote, and the sitcom that had its ending performed as a reward, was...? (Watch the video to find out)

Full report with photos here.

And if you have a taste for this kind of thing, here are the videos from:
2012's Bristol Halloween Sitcom Trials,
and 2012's Manchester Halloween Sitcom Trials.





Monday, 26 October 2015

Halloween Sitcom Trials - results

The Halloween Sitcom Trials cast, Rob Hudson, Leni Columbo Murphy, Sean Mason, Kev Sutherland, Jennifer Banks and Daniel Thackeray. (Photo by Brainne Edge) 

The Halloween Sitcom Trials took place at the Kings Arms Salford on October 25th, with four sitcoms, each with a spooky seasonal theme, going head to head in front of a live audience who voted for their favourite and only saw the ending of the winner. What were the results?



The first flipchart drawing is clearly Father Jack from Father Ted, but can anyone recognise who, and from the Halloween episode of which famous sitcom, the second picture's meant to be?* (Answer at foot of blog) Either way, these drawings by me were two of the prizes in The Pitch Fest (the audience members come up with their own ideas for sitcoms). But that's not what you're interested in. You want to know the result of the night...



Well, as you can see, the audience voted and decided that the Best Use Of Food In A Sitcom was the cheese from I'm Alan Partridge, easily beating competition from the wine in Last Of The Summer Wine, Neil's lentils in The Young Ones, the porridge in Porridge, the cake with a jumper baked in it from Father Ted, a muffin from an episode of Friends, Homer's 12 foot hoagy from the Simpsons (runner up), Scooby Doo's Scooby Snacks, and Grandad's Christmas Dinner from Only Fools And Horses.

What's that you say? That wasn't the result you were waiting for? Fair enough.

The four sitcoms in contention were:
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sects by Nathan Evans
Baby Driver by Christy White-Spunner
The Party by Sean Fee
After Steven by James & Brown

And the winner of the audience vote, and the sitcom that had its ending performed as a reward, was The Party by Sean Fee.

An excellent night's performance, stay tuned for the video following soon. Congratulations to Sean Fee and all of the writers whose sitcoms made it to the stage, and to Sean Mason and his marvellous cast who brought them all to life. Watch this space for details of forthcoming shows.



* It's Ade Edmondson as Eddie out of Bottom, dressed as a banana. Not, as many of you guessed, Heston Blumenthal cooking himself.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Halloween Sitcom Trials - the Final Four


 Sean Mason, Manchester Sitcom Trials team writes:

We sat down with a cast of actors last night to read through the scripts. We had plenty of fun and thought the general quality to be very high. Some were unanimous decisions, some we really had to um and aargh(!) about. We went with the scripts that impressed us with strong character and smart gags that read well. 

The best writers are ones who craft characters and stories that are compelling and are able to cram quite a lot into not a lot of time. We hope all the writers who didn't make it into the shortlist this time round the best of luck and hopefully you'll come back next year and do even better!

THE FINAL FOUR! (to be performed on Sunday Oct 25th)


The Party by Sean Fee

After Steven by James & Brown

Baby Driver by Christy White-Spunner

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sects (But Were Afraid To Ask) by Nathan Evans

Congratulations to everyone who's taken part in the script entry and selection for this show. Hopefully the online script selection has benefitted everyone, and the show on Sunday will be fun for all who can make it (tickets only £3, details below).

Meanwhile stay tuned for news of how you can participate in the next Sitcom Trials productions - and we hope that will include all of the writers, and some of the scripts, we've seen already in this year's Trials.



Sunday, 18 October 2015

Halloween Sitcom Trials - script selection voting results


The votes have been counted (my thanks to Gary Brown and other members of the Sitcom Trials Facebook group for doing the adding up and cross-checking each others totals) from a wonderful influx of 32 different contributors who Read, Reviewed and Voted on as many scripts as they could manage, from the long list of 48. Well done and thankyou to everyone who took part in this process, I hope the peer-reviewing has been a positive and constructive thing for all of us, not just the few who've gained the highest scores.

The top of the list, from which the Manchester team now need to chose the sitcoms they'll perform in the Halloween Sitcom Trials, look like this:

36 points*:  Witches Be Crazy - Tobias Nichols
34 The Bitchin Hour - Amina Lesley Mottley
32 Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sects - Nathan Evans
24 Baby Driver - Christy White-Spunner
23 A Killers Guide To Halloween - Kain Watson
22 After Steven Halloween - James & Brown
22 The Party - Sean Fee
21 Country Rock Zombie - Neil Tollfree
19 Is This Seat Taken - James Wordsworth

*A Yes Vote counted as 2 points, a Maybe as 1 point, and a No Vote as minus 1 point. Hence the lowest ranking script in the table (above) having scored minus 13.

Since the next five scripts on the table have tied with 17 points, I think it's fair to make an arbitrary decision and to call the Top 9 The Shortlist. Sean and team will be choosing 4 scripts to perform from this list, but not necessarily the 4 at the top of this list. The online script selection has served to choose the scripts that have read well on paper, but once heard in a round table reading, other considerations will become clear as to what is going to work live or not. So, though we've made a cut-off point for the shortlist (and many scripts were only a vote away from being in this list, such is fate) we now make a considered decision and selection from the 9 we see above.

Stay tuned to hear which scripts Sean and his team will be selecting to perform live on October 25th in Manchester.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Halloween Sitcom Trials - the contenders are... (Time To Vote)



The scripts are in, and the contenders for the Sitcom Trials Halloween Special are:

A Cloud Got In The Way - Paul Campbell
A Killers Guide To Halloween - Kain Watson
A Man Called Henry - Robin Calvert
A Peak At The Void - Tai Campbell
After Steven Halloween - Gah Brown
Baby Driver - Christy White-Spunner
Being Frank - Andy Partington
Big Pickle - Jordan Birch
Cannibal Massacre - Naomi Palmer
Contacting The Other Side - Anna Wood
Country Rock Zombie - Neil Tollfree
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sects - Nathan Evans
Frank & Stein - Shezah Salam
Giving Up The Ghost - Scott Davenport
Godhammer - Paul Bruce
Grandma Knows Best - Maggie R Drahovska
Greenford Bunker - Nick John Whittle
Halloween Party - Michael Healy
How Not To Die - Adam Charles Baker
Infernal Seekers - Adam Martin
Invasion - Amanda Lee-Ross
Is This Seat Taken - James Wordsworth
Jeremy's - Caroline Dowse
Los Escapa - Naomi Westerman
Me 2.0 - Dan Hobson & Jon Bridle
Murder Manor - Paul Gibson
My Name Is Kevin For We Are Many - Dan Tindale-Taylor
On The Cards - Paul Gorrie
Radio Happy - MJ Gregory
Roomie - Lewis Charlesworth
Script Check Up From The Neck Up - Alan Morgan
Some Will Die - Jon Brown
Staying Dead  - Julie Burrows
The Bitchin Hour - Amina Lesley Mottley
The Chillings - Margaret Mather
The Curryvan of Courage - Belinda Hirzel
The Fiddler At The Courthouse - Thomas Boyle
The Killer Beside Me - Chris Mitchell
The Last Picture House On The Left - Elliot Stewart
The Master Bedroom - Philip Trow
The Monsters Are Revolting - Michael Young
The Orange Whistle - Shirley King
The Party - Sean Fee
The Psychics Nightmare - Charlie Lindgren
The Vampire Revival - Benetti & Mallon
Up Goblin - Nick John Whittle
Witches Be Crazy - Tobias Nichols
Zombie In The House - Randy Gross

Now it's your turn to Read, Review and Vote on the scripts in contention.  How do you do that? Read here, (or if you can't get into that, read it here on the blog), then go straight to the Facebook Group Files, which is where you will find all the scripts, and to where your completed votes must be posted.


THIS IS HOW YOU VOTE. What we want everyone to do is to read as many scripts as possible (though I know no-one can read all of them) and for every one you read, write a small review then vote Yes, Maybe or No. These votes are then totted up as Yes = 2 points, Maybe = 1 point, and No = minus 1 point. This way your votes affect all the scripts you have read, and leave unaffected those you've not been able to.
Did everyone get all that? You upload all of your finished Reviews & Votes, in one document, to the Files. Scripts are all in the Files, in the Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/5951180247/
Kev F Sutherland
Creator & Executive Producer
The Sitcom Trials



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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Mrs Brown not the first live sitcom in 60 years - we were!


The BBC are announcing a live episode of Mrs Brown's Boys, as part of their Landmark Sitcom Season, commemorating 60 years of TV sitcom. Reading between the lines, the inference is that this will be the first live TV broadcast of a sitcom since the 1950s. But, of course it won't.

The Sitcom Trials TV series was live.

From February to April 2003, every Friday night at 11.30, ITV broadcast The Sitcom Trials live from their HTV studios in Bristol. In each of the 8 episodes, two brand new mini-sitcoms were performed, then the audience voted, during the ad break, for which one they wanted to see the ending of.

Episodes included a pair of improvised sitcoms by the Comedy Store Players, a solo sitcom by James Holmes (who went on to co-star in fellow Sitcom Trials alumnus Miranda Hart's eponymous sitcom), a historical themed pair of comedies, two set behind the scenes in the TV biz (one written by Roland Moore, who went on to create BBC's Land Girls), a sitcom devised by the schoolkids of the HTV Television Workshop, and in the final week two sitcom scripts sent in by viewers.  In all 16 new sitcoms were piloted in the competitive head to head format.

In the days before social media, the voting was done by phone and text, and we learned very quickly that you don't get very many phone calls through the system during a 4 minute ad break. So it was a very small, and quite possibly unrepresentative sample, that decided which sitcom would have its final few minutes performed and be declared that week's winner. Don't worry, whenever we do a second series we'll make sure that doesn't happen again.

Many of the sitcoms from The Sitcom Trials live TV series can be found on YouTube here.

The next Sitcom Trials takes place in Manchester on October 24th and is a Halloween Special. Scripts are welcomed from any budding sitcom writers, and the Sitcom Trials is free to enter (as always). The deadline for scripts is October 10th. Details are here.

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

Glasgow Sitcom Trials videos - highlights & full clips

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeFkrfOFWiI

The Glasgow Sitcom Trials took place at the Yes Bar on Sept 8 2015, here are the video highlights. Click to play.

You can see each of the five sitcoms in contention, in full, here:

THE RETURN OF IVORY SHADOW by Neil Tollfree
THE SHOP THAT SELLS EVERYTHING by Michael Beck
THE COMMONERS by Adrian Maitra
AFTER STEVEN by Gary Brown and Graeme James
BRING ME SUNSHINE by Conan Peters

And the winner of the audience vote was..? (Watch the video to find out)
You can also see the winning sitcom in full here.



Or if you fancy the whole thing from a totally different camera angle, it's in full here.






Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Announcing the Halloween Sitcom Trials - scripts wanted

Image

Announcing a brand new Halloween Sitcom Trials, taking place in Manchester on October 25th 2015 at the Kings Arms, Salford. And your scripts are wanted now.

We want sitcom scripts that we can perform in the tried and tested Trials format (a 10 minute sitcom ending in a cliffhanger with a 3 minute payoff scene, to be performed by no more than 4 actors, you'll see details in the files). And this time, though you can write your sitcom on any subject, we're particularly looking for scripts with a Halloween or horror theme.

If you want to enter a sitcom, go to the Sitcom Trials Facebook group (not to be confused with the Facebook page) where you will see the Files. Upload your script to there (as a PDF or .doc) and it will then be subjected to an online script reading, open to all. You will be invited to join in with this script reading and you will be asked to vote on the scripts in contention.

The deadline for script entries is midnight Saturday October 10th, after which we'll have a week to vote on them and choose the scripts to be performed by Sean and the Manchester Trials team on Sunday 25th. (The show will also include at least one sitcom devised by Sean and the team).

Think spooky, think tricky, think treaty, and we look forward to reading your script entires.

Kev F Sutherland
Exec Producer, The Sitcom Trials

Glasgow Sitcom Trials report

The cast of September 8th 2015's inaugural Glasgow Sitcom Trials, with producer Colin McQuaid (centre) and creator and host Kev F (front left). The drawing on the flipchart is supposed to be Jack and Victor from Still Game. Yes it does.

The first Glasgow Sitcom Trials took place at the Yes Bar in Glasgow on September 8th 2015. The five sitcoms in contention were:
 
THE RETURN OF IVORY SHADOW by Neil Tollfree
THE SHOP THAT SELLS EVERYTHING by Michael Beck
COMMONERS by Adrian Maitra
AFTER STEVEN by Gary Brown and Graeme James
BRING ME SUNSHINE by Conan Peters

And the winner of the audience vote was Bring Me Sunshine by Conan Peters.

The Pitch Fest winning entries, which have sadly slipped from memory and long since into a bin, earned their authors drawings from the flipchart by your host Kev F of Baldrick, Trigger (looking more like Humphrey Bogart than anything else) and Jack & Victor from Still Game (below).



The Best Of.. warm up game was to decide which was the best Moustache In A Sitcom.  The winner was Basil Fawlty's. Beating, as you can see below, George out of George & Mildred, Ned Flanders, Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther (?), Rene in 'Allo 'Allo, Freddy Boswell out of Bread, David Brent, Lord Melchet in Blackadder, and Mr Mackay out of Porridge.


For some reason I've never bothered to record the flipcharts or the results from the Best Of... games before, which is a shame, as I've been doing it at the top of every Sitcom Trials since at least 2004 (including throughout that year's Edinburgh Fringe run). What classic creations have disappeared into the ether, we can only imagine.

Stay tuned for a video of highlights of the night, keep watching this space. In the meantime do please enjoy the highlights from the most recent shows in Cardiff, Manchester, Bristol, London and Edinburgh.

The next Sitcom Trials is a Halloween Special in Manchester on October 25th, listen out for the call for scripts. 



Sunday, 16 August 2015

Glasgow Sitcom Trials - the chosen scripts are....


The scripts have been chosen for the inaugural Glasgow Sitcom Trials on September 8th, and they are..

AFTER STEVEN by Gary Brown and Graeme James
BRING ME SUNSHINE by Conan Peters
COMMONERS by Adrian Maitra
POPSTARS: INDIANA by Neil Tollfree
THE SHOP THAT SELLS EVERYTHING by Michael Beck

Colin McQuaid and the Beyond A Joke team will be performing these 5 sitcoms in competition, with you the audience choosing the winner, and tickets are on sale now.

And as if that weren't enough, the show will be MC'd by Sitcom Trials creator Kev F (last seen MC-ing the Cardiff and Manchester Sitcom Trials, and currently flyering for the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe).

The Glasgow Sitcom Trials, at Yes Bar, 14 Drury St Glasgow G2 5AA
Sept 8th, 8pm. Only £5



Friday, 31 July 2015

Cardiff Sitcom Trials - report and videos

https://youtu.be/-rcg0ImYqos

The inaugural Cardiff Sitcom Trials took place on July 28th 2015 and was a resounding success, as you'll see from the highlights video (here and above) and full clips below.


Just some of the Cardiff Sitcom Trials cast and writers (sorry everyone else. Next time eh?)

The sitcoms showcased were:

Mentalectro by Timothy Collins (Full Video)
Goosey: Scott Suter
Jamie: Dan Mitchell
Gray: Dai Hill
Various: Rachel Helena Walsh
 

Bring in the Sheep by Terry Milligan (Full Video) 
Frank: Charlie Smith
Mr Singh: Dai Hill
Bert: Paul Gingell
Joe: Dan Kiss
Cyril: Scott Suter
 

My Boss was in an Indie Band by Mark Hibbett (Full Video) 
Susan: Rachel Helena Walsh
Marla: Chantal Erraoui
The old guy: Dai Hill
Matt Lee
Sarah Breese
Dan Kiss
 

Matchmakers by Cameron Loxdale & Mat Troy (Full Video)
Nathan: Matt Lee
Hannah: Chantal Erraoui
Mr. Priam: Alex Nagle
Brendan Rand: Dan Kiss
 

Agent of LOVCRAFT by Paul H Hunt & Mat Troy (Full video)
Vaughan Wylliams: Paul Gingell
Rick Dedalus: Denis Lennon
Bev: Chantal Erraoui
Cliff: Alex Nagle


And the winner was...



...Agent of LOVCRAFT, (full video here) by quite a wide margin, though every script was well received and brilliantly performed by an outstanding cast in a very impressive venue (the studio at St Davids Hall, Cardiff). Especial thanks to producers Dan Mitchell and Charlie Smith. (Not, as he's credited on the video, Charlie Porter. Because we do our regular shows at Porters, that's his name in my phone, and it was getting late as I edited that bit of video. Sorry).

Next Sitcom Trials: Glasgow October 8th, Manchester October 25th. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rcg0ImYqos

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Cardiff Sitcom Trials July 28th - line up



The first Cardiff Sitcom Trials takes place at St Davids Hall Cardiff on Tuesday July 28th - tickets on sale now.

The selected scripts to be performed on 28th are:

Agent Lovecraft

My Boss was in an Indie Band
Mentalectro
Bring in the Sheep
The Matchmakers


Level One, St David's Hall

The ultimate competitive comedy writing showcase comes to Cardiff for the first time, with Dan Mitchell and the BoxFull of Comedy team presenting a night of new sitcoms.

Box Office
029 2087 8444
www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

Friday, 3 July 2015

Rosie Holt - Trials Winner Interview

From http://www.tvbomb.co.uk/2015/06/interview-rosie-holt/http://www.tvbomb.co.uk/2015/06/interview-rosie-holt/

Interview: Rosie Holt


The Fringe sometimes feels like a sea of talented people trying to get noticed, and making a dent in today’s super-competitive industry seems massively daunting. But many well-known comedians still cut their teeth at the festival, so how do they do it? We catch up with comedian and writer Rosie Holt, winner of The Sitcom Trials 2013, and find out about what it takes.

Tell us about your new Fringe show…
It is my first solo stand up show! We often hear from male comics about the dark underbelly of sex, but not enough from the females, which is a shame as I think women are gloriously insane. My show covers the anxieties of sex with the help of some very silly songs (you can find my ‘UnSafe Sex Song’ on YouTube) I think the ukulele lends itself nobly to very dirty lyrics.

How did you start out in comedy acting and writing?
I trained as a ‘serious’ actor at LAMDA and never considered comedy or writing as a career at all. Then a year or so after graduating I had a bad one night stand and wrote a sketch about it to cheer me up. I was working at an Orwellian reception with a lovely man called Clayton and he read it and suggested we make it and put it on YouTube – so we did and people responded well and I thought I’d carry on with it. Now I can’t imagine not doing comedy, I love it.

How long have you been coming to the Fringe and how have your shows changed?
The first time I came to the Fringe was when I was 18, doing Shakespeare at midnight (not an easy sell) but I fell in love with the whole festival and it remains one of my favourite places on the planet. I have been up many times since (sometimes doing very dodgy plays indeed), but last year was the first time I went up with my own show and as a result it was a much more exciting (and terrifying) experience.

Tell me about the Sitcom Trials. What sorts of things has it led to?
The Sitcom Trials was great. We had to write a short sitcom episode and perform it on stage, and then had to pass through various nerve-wracking rounds in front of a live audience. Winning it scored me my own show at The Gilded Balloon last year and various acting and writing opportunities. It also gave me the necessary confidence boost to plug on with my comedy.

Has winning the Sitcom Trials made coming to the Fringe any easier?
I don’t know yet! Last year I had written a comedy show with four other actors in it and this year it’s just me, so that brings new challenges.

How have you found developing a one-woman show in comparison to the four-strong act?
It’s definitely a very different beast but I am loving it. When you are acting with other people you can bounce off them and there is a wonderful camaraderie, but it is nice only being responsible for myself as I am rather neurotic by nature so would worry terribly if an actor was unhappy or something. Also there is something thrilling about it just being you and the audience. I’ve done a few solo gigs now and it’s always exciting.

What do you think are the most important factors in developing a comedy performance/writing career today and how big a role has the Fringe played in it for you?
Persistence and getting yourself out there as much as possible. There are so many opportunities to get into comedy now – open mike nights, competitions, YouTube, Twitter. Explore them all! I love that this is an industry that favours those who put the hours in. Also I think you shouldn’t be afraid of trying and erm…dying. It happens to the best of us.

Like many performers, you were caught up in venue problems with the Free Fringe – what happened there?
Oh golly, whenever I try to explain it to people I go cross-eyed. Very public disagreement on who had the licence for the venues all played out over social media. So we were told we’d lost our venues, then we hadn’t, then we had again. Now I am at a new venue and a new slot and it is not what is advertised in the brochure. I am planning to sing rude songs on the ukulele on the Royal Mile so that my lost audience follow me like the pied piper to Frankenstein (where I am performing).

Your characters can be pretty hapless – what’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you at Edinburgh?
I once was in an abysmal play which we were so embarrassed by that we would experience intense guilt whenever we fliered someone who then came. One night we had four audience members and two walkouts.

Have you got any advice for developing comedy writers thinking of coming to the Fringe?
Do it! See everything! And make sure you eat something green!

And lastly, will you have time to see any shows yourself and is there anything you’ve particularly got your eye on?
I adore Tim Key, I want to marry him. He is doing a work in progress tour and I will be there on the front row looking manic (in a good way obviously)

Rosie Holt: (No) Strings Attached is @ Frankenstein Pub from Fri 7 Aug 2015 @ 17:30

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Sitcom Trials Manchester video + results

https://youtu.be/b5eFWKfba4A


The Sitcom Trials in Manchester held their first Sitcom Trials of 2015 on Sunday night, at marvellous new venue The Kings Arms in Salford. Click on the video to see highlights.

 They performed 4 scripts - The New 20 by Mark Green, Ann Dram by Daniel Page, Thrift by Ashley Frieze, and The Magic Men by Tom Smith. And the winner was...?

(Spoiler alert - go on watch the video)

The winner of the audience vote was The New 20 by Mark Green. The next Sitcom Trials is in Birmingham on Friday July 3rd, see you all there.

UPDATE: Here are the full clips for:
Ann Dram
Thrift (a tiny part thereof, sadly)
The Magic Men

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham Sitcom Trials updates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_xVPF-Q2Ik

Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham Sitcom Trials updates

On Tuesday night the Cardiff Sitcom Trials team, aka Dan Mitchell and A Boxfull of Comedy, had a reading of some of the scripts that have been shortlisted for their forthcoming show. They also gave a brief reading to the script which ranked lowest in the online poll, the results of which you can see in the video above.

(This script, I have subsequently learned, was a deliberate exercise in writing the most offensive piece possible. Elliot and his co-writers will be delighted to learn they've succeeded).

The Boxfulls read some of the most popular scripts from the online shortlist, including a couple of their inhouse creations and have three scripts still to read at another meeting before they make the decision as to which scripts they'll do on July 28th.

Two of the favourite scripts, Agent of LOVCRAFT and Matchmakers, are written by Cardiff writers, one by a member of the cast, so they look most likely to make the final show, and went very well in the reading.

Other scripts read on Tuesday were My Boss Was In An Indie Band, The Magic Men, and Bringing In The Sheep.

http://www.kingsarmssalford.com/?id=9 http://www.eventflask.com/event/43364/sitcom-trials-cardiff

The Manchester team have expressed an interest in performing:
The Magic Men
Ann Dram
The New 20
and Thrift
- in their show on June 21st. A final announcement will be made soon.

Birmingham's team, aka Aaron Twitchen and Foghorn Improv, have drawn up a shortlist of the favourites from the scripts that were sent directly to them (they didn't do an online vote). They are:
Both Sides Now - Rachel Sambrooks
My Boss was in an Indie Band - Mark Hibbett ***
Mary Godmother - Dan Sweryt
Friday Nights - Arthur Burke
The Cleaners - Richard Constable & Roger Sanders
Thrift - Ashley Freize  ***

(The asterisks show scripts that are also being done by Cardiff or Manchester). Aaron will be announcing the final line-up for Birmingham's July 3rd show shortly.

Congratulations to all the writers who've entered scripts, and thanks to the team leaders and performers in Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham for the sterling work they've done so far.

A reminder that scripts are still wanted for the Glasgow Sitcom Trials, details here, deadline August 8th.

Kev F Sutherland
Executive Producer
The Sitcom Trials



Monday, 8 June 2015

Sitcom Trials online script voting - the results

http://www.kingsarmssalford.com/?id=9 http://www.eventflask.com/event/43364/sitcom-trials-cardiff

Thankyou to everyone who read, reviewed and voted on the scripts in the online script selection for the forthcoming Sitcom Trials in Cardiff and Manchester. Here are the results, totalled and checked by Judgement Dave. Every YES vote scored 2 points, a MAYBE vote scored 1 point, and a NO vote scored minus 1 point. This table shows the results when writers votes for their own scripts are discounted:

RankScoreTitle
125Agent of LOVCRAFT
218My Boss Was in an Indie Band
314The Magic Men
411The Matchmakers
59Ann Dram
67The New 20
67Thrift
86POPSCENE!
95Blue Door
95Bringing in the Sheep
95Serenity House
123Yesterdays News
132Jehovah the Hill
132Malibu Crush
15-1Secret Agents
16-2Mentalectro
17-3Death Runs a Cornershop
18-4Their Majesties' Secret Services
19-5Boys in the Band
20-6NEGATIVE
20-6Reis & Paul
22-9Ruther Edge
23-15A Different Band of Brothers
24-16What was your porn name Darling?

The votes, including votes for the writers own script, are at the foot of this post. I propose the selection for the shows be made on the table above, and not the one including writers votes for themselves.

I shall now be talking to the Manchester and Cardiff teams about which scripts they would like to showcase from the favoured top end of the chart. We will report back as soon as we can as to which scripts are to be performed where.

Birmingham's script were sent directly to producer Aaron Twitchen , who will be making the decision on which scripts they will be showcasing. Stay tuned for details.

All the best, and thanks again everyone.

Kev F Sutherland
Executive Producer
The Sitcom Trials

http://www.kingsarmssalford.com/?id=9

http://www.eventflask.com/event/43364/sitcom-trials-cardiff

The votes, including votes for the writers own script, look like this:

RankScoreTitle
125Agent of LOVCRAFT
218My Boss Was in an Indie Band
316The Magic Men
413The Matchmakers
59Ann Dram
68POPSCENE!
77Blue Door
77Serenity House
77The New 20
77Thrift
115Bringing in the Sheep
115Yesterdays News
134Jehovah the Hill
134Malibu Crush
15-1Secret Agents
16-2Mentalectro
16-2Their Majesties' Secret Services
18-3Death Runs a Cornershop
19-4NEGATIVE
19-4Reis & Paul
21-5Boys in the Band
22-9Ruther Edge
23-15A Different Band of Brothers
24-16What was your porn name Darling?




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