Saturday, 16 June 2012

Funny Women & The Sitcom Trials

Many thanks to Funny Women for plugging the script-call for the Manchester Sitcom Trials on their blog. Looking back, it's clear that The Sitcom Trials already has quite a history of Funny Women...

Two of the last three winners of the Sitcom Trials have been written by women. This is in the context that 90% of script entries are sent in by men. You're right, I ought to tot up those figures, oughtn't I? Okay, here goes.

Eurovision Sitcom Contest (May 2012) won by Sarit Chen & Tova Leigh (both female), runners up 3 male, 1 male/female team; scripts entered online 19 male, 2 female = 90.4% male

Bristol Sitcom Trials (March 2012) won by Luke Cedar (male), runners up 1 female, 2 male, 1 male/female team; scripts entered online 32 male, 6 female = 84.2% male

Manchester Sitcom Trials (Oct 2011) won by Debbie Rayner (female), runners up 4 male; scripts entered online 17 male, 1 female = 94.5% male

So, not a bad guess (before looking those figures up) that our scripts come in from 90% male writers. It would be good to see that balance redressed. Because of course we have a distinguished achievement record in the Sitcom Trials past, with Perrier winner Laura Solon appearing in our 2002 Edinburgh Fringe show, and of course Miranda Hart starring in our 2001 Edinburgh run, with some of our shows (eg this Sitcom Trials final from London 2007) reading like a veritable who's who of top women in comedy today, inc Sara Pascoe, Cariad Lloyd, Jessica Fostekew to name but a few.

So let us hope the support of Funny Women will bring fresh comedy writers, of all sexes, into the fold, not just for this show but for the future of The Sitcom Trials. And I realise, as I type this, I am in danger of becoming patronising, sexist, demeaning and cheesy. So, I'm away.

Deadline for scripts for the next Sitcom Trials is midnight Saturday June 30th - enter now.


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