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

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