Sunday 1 April 2012

Sitcom Trials review by Martin Lejeune

Here's a nice find, a review of Friday's Bristol Sitcom Trials by film maker Martin Lejeune:

Last night I had the pleasure of being in the audience of the Bristol Sitcom Trials. A project that takes script submissions and whittles down the five best to be performed live on stage. The scripts had to be 10 minutes long with a cliff hanger and a five minute resolution. We saw the ten minute scenes and then voted on which sitcom got to show its final scene.
It was a really fun evening and not just a great opportunity for people to amuse me but for writers to get peer feedback on their work. There are so many writing competitions out there offering fantastic development deals or fabulous cash prizes but very rarely do they bother to give feedback on why your script didn’t make it. Unfortunately I only found out about the competition the day before it closed when I was two thirds of the way into writing my pilot script.
So the five sitcoms -

“Shock Treatment” by Richard Dowling
Dr S. Lime is a Bond quoting therapist who takes on an apprentice who questions his working practices. It’s always hard to be the first out the gate and the cast did a good job some great moments like the doctor flicking fag ash on a patient wanting to give up smoking.

“The Tragic Life of Roger Bulwark” by Luke Cedar
This started out terribly clich├ęd with the titular Roger wanting to ask a girl out but manage to rise above it when he suspects the girl may be behind a robbery being investigated. Oh and he has an imaginary friend.

Whitecoats” by Katie Boyles
Two pharmacy workers bicker about how much pride to take in their work. Probably the most ‘SitCom’ of the lot with it being very character and dialogue focused.

“Games Night” by Ed Campbell
A women gets very competitive when her brother comes over to play monopoly and her husband realises he knows the brothers date. I couldn’t help feeling it was a set up I’d seen before with competitive siblings and would have liked to have seen more time given to the secondary characters.

“Making Heavy Weather” by Eddie Robson & Julie Bower
A scientist and a repair woman are assigned to a space station that controls earths weather have to deal with a religious fanatic who thinks it should be left to god alone. I have to say this was my personal favourite by a country mile. The two women in the leads had instantly defined characters the snooty scientist with delusions of grandeur and  the IT girl who has to put up with her constant bitching. The grounded characters allowed the over the top story and setting to really work. 

Here is a compilation of the entries and the winner in video form:

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