Friday 31 July 2015

Cardiff Sitcom Trials - report and videos

The inaugural Cardiff Sitcom Trials took place on July 28th 2015 and was a resounding success, as you'll see from the highlights video (here and above) and full clips below.

Just some of the Cardiff Sitcom Trials cast and writers (sorry everyone else. Next time eh?)

The sitcoms showcased were:

Mentalectro by Timothy Collins (Full Video)
Goosey: Scott Suter
Jamie: Dan Mitchell
Gray: Dai Hill
Various: Rachel Helena Walsh

Bring in the Sheep by Terry Milligan (Full Video) 
Frank: Charlie Smith
Mr Singh: Dai Hill
Bert: Paul Gingell
Joe: Dan Kiss
Cyril: Scott Suter

My Boss was in an Indie Band by Mark Hibbett (Full Video) 
Susan: Rachel Helena Walsh
Marla: Chantal Erraoui
The old guy: Dai Hill
Matt Lee
Sarah Breese
Dan Kiss

Matchmakers by Cameron Loxdale & Mat Troy (Full Video)
Nathan: Matt Lee
Hannah: Chantal Erraoui
Mr. Priam: Alex Nagle
Brendan Rand: Dan Kiss

Agent of LOVCRAFT by Paul H Hunt & Mat Troy (Full video)
Vaughan Wylliams: Paul Gingell
Rick Dedalus: Denis Lennon
Bev: Chantal Erraoui
Cliff: Alex Nagle

And the winner was...

...Agent of LOVCRAFT, (full video here) by quite a wide margin, though every script was well received and brilliantly performed by an outstanding cast in a very impressive venue (the studio at St Davids Hall, Cardiff). Especial thanks to producers Dan Mitchell and Charlie Smith. (Not, as he's credited on the video, Charlie Porter. Because we do our regular shows at Porters, that's his name in my phone, and it was getting late as I edited that bit of video. Sorry).

Next Sitcom Trials: Glasgow October 8th, Manchester October 25th.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Cardiff Sitcom Trials July 28th - line up

The first Cardiff Sitcom Trials takes place at St Davids Hall Cardiff on Tuesday July 28th - tickets on sale now.

The selected scripts to be performed on 28th are:

Agent Lovecraft

My Boss was in an Indie Band
Bring in the Sheep
The Matchmakers

Level One, St David's Hall

The ultimate competitive comedy writing showcase comes to Cardiff for the first time, with Dan Mitchell and the BoxFull of Comedy team presenting a night of new sitcoms.

Box Office
029 2087 8444

Friday 3 July 2015

Rosie Holt - Trials Winner Interview


Interview: Rosie Holt

The Fringe sometimes feels like a sea of talented people trying to get noticed, and making a dent in today’s super-competitive industry seems massively daunting. But many well-known comedians still cut their teeth at the festival, so how do they do it? We catch up with comedian and writer Rosie Holt, winner of The Sitcom Trials 2013, and find out about what it takes.

Tell us about your new Fringe show…
It is my first solo stand up show! We often hear from male comics about the dark underbelly of sex, but not enough from the females, which is a shame as I think women are gloriously insane. My show covers the anxieties of sex with the help of some very silly songs (you can find my ‘UnSafe Sex Song’ on YouTube) I think the ukulele lends itself nobly to very dirty lyrics.

How did you start out in comedy acting and writing?
I trained as a ‘serious’ actor at LAMDA and never considered comedy or writing as a career at all. Then a year or so after graduating I had a bad one night stand and wrote a sketch about it to cheer me up. I was working at an Orwellian reception with a lovely man called Clayton and he read it and suggested we make it and put it on YouTube – so we did and people responded well and I thought I’d carry on with it. Now I can’t imagine not doing comedy, I love it.

How long have you been coming to the Fringe and how have your shows changed?
The first time I came to the Fringe was when I was 18, doing Shakespeare at midnight (not an easy sell) but I fell in love with the whole festival and it remains one of my favourite places on the planet. I have been up many times since (sometimes doing very dodgy plays indeed), but last year was the first time I went up with my own show and as a result it was a much more exciting (and terrifying) experience.

Tell me about the Sitcom Trials. What sorts of things has it led to?
The Sitcom Trials was great. We had to write a short sitcom episode and perform it on stage, and then had to pass through various nerve-wracking rounds in front of a live audience. Winning it scored me my own show at The Gilded Balloon last year and various acting and writing opportunities. It also gave me the necessary confidence boost to plug on with my comedy.

Has winning the Sitcom Trials made coming to the Fringe any easier?
I don’t know yet! Last year I had written a comedy show with four other actors in it and this year it’s just me, so that brings new challenges.

How have you found developing a one-woman show in comparison to the four-strong act?
It’s definitely a very different beast but I am loving it. When you are acting with other people you can bounce off them and there is a wonderful camaraderie, but it is nice only being responsible for myself as I am rather neurotic by nature so would worry terribly if an actor was unhappy or something. Also there is something thrilling about it just being you and the audience. I’ve done a few solo gigs now and it’s always exciting.

What do you think are the most important factors in developing a comedy performance/writing career today and how big a role has the Fringe played in it for you?
Persistence and getting yourself out there as much as possible. There are so many opportunities to get into comedy now – open mike nights, competitions, YouTube, Twitter. Explore them all! I love that this is an industry that favours those who put the hours in. Also I think you shouldn’t be afraid of trying and erm…dying. It happens to the best of us.

Like many performers, you were caught up in venue problems with the Free Fringe – what happened there?
Oh golly, whenever I try to explain it to people I go cross-eyed. Very public disagreement on who had the licence for the venues all played out over social media. So we were told we’d lost our venues, then we hadn’t, then we had again. Now I am at a new venue and a new slot and it is not what is advertised in the brochure. I am planning to sing rude songs on the ukulele on the Royal Mile so that my lost audience follow me like the pied piper to Frankenstein (where I am performing).

Your characters can be pretty hapless – what’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you at Edinburgh?
I once was in an abysmal play which we were so embarrassed by that we would experience intense guilt whenever we fliered someone who then came. One night we had four audience members and two walkouts.

Have you got any advice for developing comedy writers thinking of coming to the Fringe?
Do it! See everything! And make sure you eat something green!

And lastly, will you have time to see any shows yourself and is there anything you’ve particularly got your eye on?
I adore Tim Key, I want to marry him. He is doing a work in progress tour and I will be there on the front row looking manic (in a good way obviously)

Rosie Holt: (No) Strings Attached is @ Frankenstein Pub from Fri 7 Aug 2015 @ 17:30

If you would like to create the next great British situation comedy, The Sitcom Trials is an opportunity for your sitcom to be seen live.

Details of new shows, and our ongoing competition, are to be found here at and on Twitter and Facebook.

See the Best of The Sitcom Trials videos, here.
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