Tuesday 29 January 2013

The Sitcom Trials – So You Think You Write Funny 2013

UPDATE: This blog post is from the start of the 2013 Sitcom Trials So You Think You Write Funny competition, which had its final in August 2013. For the latest announcements of Sitcom Trials shows, and the opportunity to enter, go to the latest posts here at sitcomtrials.co.uk

Announcing The Sitcom Trials – So You Think You Write Funny 2013
The Sitcom Trials returns in force in 2013, with the ultimate competition to find the best new situation comedy talent in Britain. And this year we have joined forces with The Gilded Balloon, producers of the UK’s longest running comedy new talent competition – So You Think You’re Funny.

UPDATE: The deadline for script entries has passed (March 31 2013), so stay tuned here and to Twitter and Facebook for the next opportunity.

Since it began in 1988, So You Think You’re Funny? has kick-started the careers of dozens of the country’s top stand-up comedians including Peter Kay, Dylan Moran, Lee Mack, Tommy Tiernan, Sarah Millican, Rhod Gilbert to name a few, with heats held across the country and a grand final at the Edinburgh Fringe. Now the Sitcom Trials are offering that same opportunity to sitcom creators.

The Sitcom Trials has been running since 1999, showcasing brand new sitcoms in a competition format. Its first Edinburgh Fringe show in 2001 at the Gilded Balloon starred Miranda Hart in a self-penned sitcom set in a joke shop, with a little blonde-haired sidekick and a fanciable chap in the café next door (sound familiar). The following year’s show starred future Perrier-winner Laura Solon. If you think you could follow in those illustrious footsteps, now is your chance.

The Sitcom Trials – So You Think You Write Funny is open to writers and writer-performers whose comedy writing has never before been broadcast on national TV or radio.

You are invited to submit a 10-minute sitcom script (to guidelines, below).  The entries will be selected by our panel of script reading judges, and the lucky shortlist will be showcased on stage, by our teams of professional actors, and voted for by the audience and a panel of judges from the comedy industry. The 5 scripts that prove most popular in the heats will be performed in the grand final at the Edinburgh Fringe where one sitcom will win their own show at the Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh and a development deal with Gilded Balloon Productions.

If you are a writer-performer, whether an actor, a comedian, or a sketch-team, and you wish to perform the competing sitcom yourself, then that is fine. You’re asked to submit a YouTube demo of your performers along with your script entry, it’s as easy as that.

Oh, and did we mention The Sitcom Trials  - So You Think You Write Funny is completely free to enter?

The deadline for script & video submissions is midnight March 31st 2013 and all details can be found at the website sitcomtrials.co.uk

The Sitcom Trials 2013 Script Guidelines:

Sitcom Trials scripts need to be written for a maximum of 4 actors, with no more than 3 of the same sex. This can be varied only if you are performing your own script & can supply the entire cast.

The format needs to be a script of approx 10 minutes duration ending in a “cliff-hanger” moment (e.g. the ad-break moment, leaving the audience wanting more). The script then needs a denouement scene of no more than 3 minutes max. What will happen is the audience with see the first “half” of all the sitcoms in contention, then only see the ending of the winner (of the audience vote on the night). That way the audience never get bored by anything they don’t like, and they’re never more than 10 minutes away from something they might prefer.

Scripts can be laid out as TV, radio, stage or movie scripts, whichever the author prefers.

They can be sent as word document or pdf document. Please avoid other formats if at all possible.

Top tip: These scripts are to be performed on a minimal theatre stage, with few if any props, so it is best not to enter scripts that rely heavily on visuals, or on a filmic treatment. Scripts written with radio production in mind would work best in this limited stage environment. For examples of how previous Sitcom Trials performances have worked, see the many video clips at sitcomtrials.co.uk


Scripts can be laid out as TV, radio, stage or movie scripts, whichever the author prefers.

They can be sent as word document or pdf document to scripts@sitcomtrials.co.uk

Include your name, mailing address, contact email, and which location you could best attend if your script is shortlisted for performance: Manchester, Bristol or London.

If you intend performing your own script, include a link to a YouTube (or other online) clip that shows the performers in question. If they are performing the script that’s entered, that may be more helpful (but not essential).

The deadline for script & video submissions is midnight March 31st 2013. Any questions, ask at the Forum.

Kev F Sutherland
The Sitcom Trials

Sunday 27 January 2013

Time to Vote, everyone welcome

- TIME TO VOTE (Everyone welcome)

Right everyone. There are 38 scripts at the Sitcom Trials egroup which are in contention for the Bristol show at the Wardrobe Theatre on Friday Feb 22nd (tickets on sale now).

You can find them all here:


I'd like you all to read, review and vote on them now. You post your votes here in this forum, or over in the other forum, choice is yours.



Vote YES, MAYBE or NO to every script you read, and give a brief review of each to prove you've read it, and to provide valuable feedback. Please be honest yet tactful ("Didn't find the characters interesting, and the gags fell flat" is preferable to "This was shit and made my eyes bleed"). It would be very helpful if you could list your reviews in alphabetical order, and post them all together.

The deadline for posting your votes is midnight Sat Feb 2nd

Don't worry if you don't get to read them all, but it would be splendid if you possibly can.

Your votes are counted Yes=2, MAYBE=1, NO= minus 1. So anything you don't vote on doesn't affect the figures.

The top ten scoring scripts will be read by the team and AT LEAST THREE will be performed at the Wardrobe Theatre on Friday 22nd Feb (unless deemed unstageable - we're unlikey to have the resources to properly do justice to a sitcom set directly after the Tet Offensive and featuring a flotilla of helicopter gunships dropping napalm on villages... with hilarious consequences).

The scripts are (in alphabetical order):

A Cult Show

All the Fun of the Fair


Cliff & Elaine Fall Out.

Donnie's Appraisal



FOURPLY (You Killed My Cat) - Don't Get Up



I See a Penguin

In with the new.


King Chicken and the Ning Nings



Midnight music



Not Book Smart - The Date

Out of Ideas



Second Coming of Christ

Sodding House

Spies Like Us



The Boomerangers

The Dating coach

The Incompetent Hustle

The Luke Mcardle Sex Chronicles

The Regulars


The Ward


Toyz 4Boyz

Umbrellas of London

Best of luck to everyone who's entered, and have fun reviewing and voting!

Thursday 10 January 2013

Announcing The 1st Sitcom Trials of 2013 - Feb 22 Bristol

The inaugural Sitcom Trials of 2013 takes place at The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol on Feb 22nd and your script entries are welcomed. Enter scripts by Jan 26th (details below) and you could be one of the lucky authors whose work gets performed live on stage.

The Wardrobe Theatre 
(above the White Bear pub),
133 St Michael's Hill, 
High Kingsdown,

Tickets: £3
To enter, simply read producer Vince Stadon's guidelines, here, then enter your script into the Sits Vac files here. Then stay tuned to our forums or Facebook page and you'll be invited to join in with the script selection and come to the show.

Happy scribbling
Kev F Sutherland
Executive Producer
The Sitcom Trials

Wednesday 2 January 2013

The Sitcom Trials presents Checkpoint Dave

The Sitcom Trials proudly presents a comedy classic in the making...

by Vince Stadon

The scintillating play about British Intelligence that ever so nearly brought down the Government, but didn't.

A cold November in 1966: in a Berlin checkpoint ignored by history, a dysfunctional trio of British Intelligence Officers have one night to secure a prestigious enemy defection, prevent the imminent closure of their operation, and safeguard their impressively stocked stationery cupboard.

A tale of espionage, counter-espionage, romance and neatly sharpened pencils, Checkpoint Dave, a one act play first performed at the Manchester Comedy Festival, is based on the winning entry for The Sitcom Trials.

 Based on shocking top secret information supplied by Moscow, everything in this play is based on fact, except the bit about the pencils.

Wednesday 16th January 8pm
Thursday 17th January 8pm
Friday 18th January 8pm

The Wardrobe Theatre 
(above the White Bear pub),
133 St Michael's Hill, 
High Kingsdown,

Tickets: £4

**** "Is funny play!" - Kremlin News

**** "Gets far too close to the truth, but made me laugh." - Bob le Carre (not related to John le Carre, author of The Spy Who Came In From the Cold/Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

**** "Very silly spy-caper, full of laughs" - Manchester Chronicle

**** "Irresponsible,
treacherous and puerile nonsense, the wife loved it, of course - but I've always suspected she's a damn Communist!" - anonymous Daily Mail reader.
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