Every year there are stars who've passed through the ranks of The Sitcom Trials shining bright at the Edinburgh Fringe. 2017 is no exception. Here are 5 of the best (if you know of more please tell us).
Kate, along with Vanessa-Faye Stanley, won last year's Sitcom Trials So You Think You Write Funny final at the Gilded Balloon, and now she's back to claim her prize. Her satirical one-woman comedy All Hell Toupee sees Kate (who you may recognise from everything from Downton Abbey to Love Actually) performing a dazzling array of characters, in a variety of hairpieces. We are all hiding but what happens when the mask, or in this case the toupee, slips? Find out August 7 - 13 at the Gilded Balloon.
Aaron was a star in the 2016 Sitcom Trials tournament, running the Birmingham heats of the show, and performing in the final. This year he brings his first solo show, Curtain Twitchen, to Edinburgh, combining aerial circus skills with stand up. Mixing stories of friendship, love and wine with jaw-dropping stunts on the aerial silks in a gossipy cabaret explosion, Aaron Twitchen takes comedy to highs you've never seen before... literally. At C Venues from the 6th to the 28th.
Rosie won 2013's Sitcom Trials So You Think You Write Funny final at the Gilded Balloon, and this year returns on a double bill with Christian Talbot - Holt and Talbot Can't Stand The Sight Of Each Other. Thrown together through financial necessity, can they stay civil to each other for an entire month of shows? Find out at Sweet Grassmarket from the 7th to the 27th
Draycott & Trimm
Charity Trimm was the star of The Sitcom Trials' very first Edinburgh run, back in 2001, alongside her then comedy partner Miranda Hart. Anne-Marie Draycott starred in The Sitcom Trials' fondly remembered ITV series in 2003, then in the Trials' last month-long run at the Fringe in 2004. Now, writing together, Draycott & Trimm have created Class Mates, a comedy which takes one community centre, three evening classes, six skill-seekers and stands back. Performed by A Dash Of Theatre at The Space On The Mile, Aug 7 - 25.
McNeil & Pamphilon
2009's Sitcom Trials winners are a bit too successful with their TV show Go 8 Bit to be bothered with spending whole months in Edinburgh right now, but Steve McNeil will be up on August 11th to do a one-off WifiWars.
Let's close with these words of advice he offers to all folks putting on a show this month:
Good luck Edinburgh chums! Just remember:
1. student reviewers' opinions are utterly worthless and you are the only person who'll ever read their thoughts about you from start to finish. people you know *might* glance at the stars, but they're already thinking about themselves again
2. audience sizes are only occasionally proportional to merit
3. all deep fried food is delicious
4. waterproof shoes
5. stick with it - if McNeil & Pamphilon can get on TV, literally anyone can
6. no real people have ever heard of Chortle
7. climbing arthur's seat is a dreadful idea. have a biscuit instead
8. spend every free moment with people you like. you won't meet up back in London except at gigs because you're not weird
10. Would love to have some friends at WiFi Wars on the 11th August at the Dome, it's a big one for us - we've got Angry Microwave in
The Sitcom Trials is taking a break at the moment but could return at any time. Stay tuned.
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.