Friday 6 January 2012

Lee from Steps in The Sitcom Trials

Steps have re-united, hooray! What's this got to do with The Sitcom Trials? Check out this, a report from The Sitcom Trials back in 2009. As is my wont, I doodled on my notes, little cartoons of most of the actors...

Last night I had the pleasure and privelege of being a judge at the Sitcom Trials, the show that I invented ten years ago, stopped doing three years ago, and Declan Hill & Simon Wright now keep themselves very busy running. It was the first show of this season I've been able to make and I was delighted with what I saw.

They run two shows every Wednesday. A 5pm showcase where industry representatives cast their votes on the 4 sitcoms in competition, then a 7pm re-performance where the public vote. I was in the 5pm session with fellow judges Jaqui Sinclair from RDF's Comedy Unit, George Poles writer from Mock The week & HIGNFY, Steve Keyworth of Eastenders and this afternoon's Radio 4 Play fame, and Carole Smith Radio 4 comedy producer of legend.

We watched 4 sitcoms, all of which are produced and staged to the highest standard. In my day we used to stand, radio-style, with scripts in hands, but these guys are totally off-book and well directed, all for just two performances. And, not to say anything nasty about anyone or anything, two of the scripts were brilliant. And as for the casts, tonight's show had John Le Mesurier's grand-daughter and Lee off of Steps in, how's that for impressive?

The winning scripts were The House on Cedar Street by Julie Bower, a flat share comedy which had a level of exciting new writing that made you want to see anything that writer comes up with, and The Boot Room by John Gradwell which is a consistently funny and well constructed sitcom set in a football club, crossing Hi De Hi with The Damned United to very promising effect.

The Sitcom Trials returns in 2012, writers and performers are welcomed. See here for details.

See the Best of The Sitcom Trials videos, here.

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