Thursday 28 March 2013

Announcing the Dates for Sitcom Trials - So You Think You Write Funny

Announcing the dates for 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.

The dates for the heats are:

Fri May 3 - Manchester Heat 1 (Lass O'Gowrie)
Fri May 10 - London Heat 1 (Camden Head)
Fri May 31 - Bristol Heat 1 (Wardrobe Theatre)
Fri June 7 - Manchester Heat 2 (Lass O'Gowrie)
Thu June 13 - Bristol Heat 2 (Wardrobe Theatre)
Fri June 14 - London Heat 2 (Camden Head
Fri July 19 - London Semi Final 1 (Camden Head)
Mon July 22 - London Semi Final 2 (Camden Head)

Final August 2013 (The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe)

The deadline for entries is March 31st. Read on for details...

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

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


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

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

Monday 18 March 2013

Sitcom Trials script books on Kindle - prices slashed

Fans of and entrants in The Sitcom Trials should be interested in the range of Sitcom Trials scriptbooks available on Kindle. And, having had them out there for the past year, you'll be all the more delighted to find the range of books has now been reduced in price.

Situation Murder, our spin-off series of comedy murder mysteries, containing five complete stories for interactive performance, is now just £1.36 on Kindle.

And the compendium of three episodes of political sitcom The Lavender Millbank Mob is now only 77p.
Also at 77p are our classic scripts Kiss Me Son Of God, Go Wild In The Country, the three-episode collection of the Tony Robinson vehicle Didn't You Used To Be..?, and double-bill of Dead Air and Clarice. Writers hoping to master the Sitcom Trials format for their competition entries would benefit from a glance at these scripts, as would anyone who wants a laugh at some genuinely funny writing from our bulging archive.

If you would like to create the next great sitcom, The Sitcom Trials - So You Think You Write Funny is running throughout 2013. The deadline for entries is March 31st, with heats in London, Bristol & Manchester and a grand final at the Edinburgh Fringe. See here for details.

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