The Sitcom Trials 2013 Page 17



  • Sunday 27th October 2013, 5:53pm
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 180 posts

Below the Line - Maybe
Pipe stuff funny. Window that opens and closes good. A lot of the dialogue is well played and funny but it's essentially just two people in a room talking. Show don't tell should be your maxim but nothing is shown, why don't we see the wedding and fallout? You made me laugh but there needs to be a much, much stronger plot and characters.

Donnie - No
Wow, Donnie is unpleasant. Problem with him is he's got no redeeming features, so I don't like him or identify him or want to spend time with him. David Brent was a cock, but I also sympathised because he was sensitive.

Honest - No
'Coming from Australia?' Would anyone say this? We know she Australian from the accent, surely. "Tea! I should've offered tea. Soup." - nice line. The problem here is that very little happens, there's an awful lot of standing around talking and ver little action. Funny talking is all well and good, but it needs to be rooted on a strong comic plot to make it interesting

Shuuuush - Maybe
I laughed. Needs a stronger plot but there is some action. Edie is currently a bit nothingy. Nice idea

Since you've been gone - No
Nice idea for a sitcom. you need to give your two leads a bit more personality but the kids were nice. Some laughs but 'Snow White and Prince Charming,' 'Dog and Duck,' 'Lawyers are us.' there are lots of lines like this begging for a bit more imagination and fun....problem with the piece you've submitted though is that it's just a phone call. I mean, the kids do stuff, but it's essentially the beginning of the set-up episode. If I were you, I'd work on a short plot where they're all living together already.

Sock pub - Yes
It's pretty much hilarious, but I've done my best to pick on the few bits that didn't work for me. - Slim Pickens - nice joke but not sitting right. It's empty, there are no pickens, not just slim pickens. The songsheet scene feels a bit like filler, not sure what it does to move the plot forward. 'We'll forget about the fingering joke' - cheap laugh. The actual fingering joke is good but referencing it comes over as a little smug...and we'll try and ignore the fact I said 'comes over.' 'Other...are available' - bit of cliched line? There is a lot of taking-things-literally-with-hilarious-consquences humour, which is fine but could start to wear thin in a longer piece. That said, bloody funny and I'd watch it if Hi-de-Hi wasn't on...curious as to how you put on a full Buzz Berkley sock dream sequence in a room above a pub in Bristol though

Being Social - No
The characters are too similar, I couldn't tell the difference between the women at all. There's also very little plot. It's just a group of people in a room talking to each other. If I were you, I'd trim the cast list a little and give them somehing to do...somethigncould go wrong with a visit? Could have some meddling bastard politician on his way to see them and shake it all up?

Mr Ego - Yes
Terrible title, maybe just call it 'Ricky Dreamcoat?' Good name. 'Run it off Jimmy!' Made me laugh. I really like the idea and there's loads of action. I reckon it could work

Nobody and his cat - No
vocal warm up is funny. There are a few nice lines in this but. The three lads are way too similar. Pretty much interchangeable. Nothing happens for the first 7 pages, and I'm afraid I didn't follow the ending.

Daisy Daisy - Yes
There are some good lines and well drawn characters. There's a question of taste about the subject matter but someone else can worry about that.

Two Dimwits in a lift - No
It simply wouldn't work as a sitcom. Are they stuck in a lift each week? There is no real plot here either, they're just stuck in a lift and get out again.

2-1 - No
I'm afraid you lost me with the character descriptions. Two blokes, one smart and dreamy, the other one a bit wacky. It's been done to death. Also, nothing happens in the script. Needs more plot.

Arthouse - Yes
Good Bob Sharpe intro. Nice script. funny. Good characters. Plot happens. Top work

Baxter - No
There's a place for a sitcom about a loudmouth scumbag TV presenter. You'd have to be careful of getting to close to Roger Mellie though. Thing is, not convinced about the format. It plays too heavy on the Jeremy Kyle thing and that's beyond parody. What you've written here could be one of those talk shows. To make it work and funny, you'd need to take it to ludicrous extremes. An alien having a fight with Ghenkis Khan. I'd stick with Baxter but just make it a behind-thescenes sitcom.

Bookmobile - Maybe
It's pleasant enough, but needs a bit more oomph. Takes a while to get going and there characters aren't quite big enough but there are some decent lines and is...fine.

Buck Knightly - Yes
Good name. Great premise. Fun script. Some of the exposition is a little clumsy but it all hangs together nicely enough.

Caravan - No
It's a nice idea for a setting but this doesn't work as ascript. Nothing happens. There has to be a plot and action or it's just not interesting

Cassie - No
I like the action. Too many scripts have no movement at all in, I like all the stealthy early business. Sadly, it wasn't funny enough for me and the characters need to be more defined. Make them bigger and more conflicting and you'll get some bigger laughs.

cult of Stan - No
The characters are too similar and undefined. Also, not clear where it goes as a sitcom. Is Satan a permanent character? (I love the sitcom trials because I get to say things like 'Is Satan a permanent character?')

Demeddlers - Maybe
Nice neough. Needs some much bigger laughs though and I worry that time travel shenanigins could be a bit much for a weekly half hour show. could make a fun feature though?

Flick of the wrist - No
Promiscuous gay guy on the first page. Cliched. I struggled to follow the plot and I didn't laugh I'm afraid.

Hench - Maybe
Alright. Pip's terrific but Dan's dull. Tight plot. Nice idea

HMS Bagworth - Yes
Enjoyed this very much. Some good laughs and a good idea

Kate and Mike - Maybe
A likeable script. The 'Heyy' bit made my laugh. I think there's work to do though. I wouldn't have Kate and Mika the interchangeable characters you have at the moment. I get that they're both ditszy but ditzy people can have different personalities so I'd start working at that.

Les Happy - No
It's the Odd Couple. I mean, I guess that's fine to have a female Odd Couple fifty years on but I really struggle with reading flatcoms where the plot is all about getting a roommate. It's been done to death and this didn't stand out enough. It maybe me but I didn't find enough laughs in it.

Me, Myself and I - No
I don't get the end. It's an alright idea, but I don't see there being a sitcom in it. It's more a sketch than anything.

Men at Sea - Maybe
Couple of big laughs in there. Conrads a bit dull though and I'm not sure where the sitcom goes. Is it just them on a boat, because that's going o get dull. Still, fun script

Old boy Band - No
Needs to have more of a plot. Auditioning someone is an idea or an inciting incident, not the whole thing. Also, everyone seems very similar to each other. Could do with more clearly defined characters.

Red or Dead - No
It didn't make me laugh I'm afraid. You've got a tidy plot but it takes too long to get going. Have Sloane come in on page one and go from there.

Smooth Criminals - No
I'm sure you don't mean to offensive but you can't use Tourette's as a comedy trope. It's a mental illness.

The Great Escape - No
I'm not sure I understand who and what Steve and Ed are. So I found it very difficult to follow the plot.

The Magic man - No
The character's all sound samey and needs more plot

The Social committee - No
I may be a prude but to me, that's just really nasty. None of the characters are particularly well drawn or likeable. Not for me.

The Hole - No
Didn't laugh. The Katy character is pretty misogynistic.

ticking over - No
It's not unpleasant but there aren't enough laughs and I'm not sure what the hook of the actual sitcom would be

Turbulence - No
The Guy character is pretty offensive. The airplane isn't a bad location but it needs some well-defined original characters.

Backstage - Yes



  • Sunday 27th October 2013, 7:18pm
  • England
  • 696 posts

Hi All. Well done to all those who entered and all those who have managed to provide reviews. Unfortunately I have only managed about a dozen, so my apologies to those I missed (or possibly those I didn't). All views are just my subjective reaction and are meant to be helpful - no, really.

I rather liked this. Gentle but amusing. The characters were clear, dialogue believable, and the plot rolled along nicely; not breakneck pace but very enjoyable. The premise feels like it has potential too. Nice.

I didn't really manage to engage with this. The gay stuff felt very dated and there was a surfeit of innuendo and smut for my liking. It would probably work for the Mrs Brown's Boys audience but not for me I'm afraid.

This has some real potential, and certainly has some funny lines. The characters are well delineated. It feels a bit busy with all the characters present for much of the time though, and the plot seems slightly thin - although that may be a function of the format.

I like the idea of the central character, and the cynicism of datime TV should be fertile gound for comedy. However, I felt the balance was wrong as too much of the time was given over to the participants so it feels like reading a transcript of a Jeremy Kyle can't really out-do the actual events so probably best not to compete. Focus more on the backstage stuff and you may have a winner.

The premise seems reasonable, the characters are pretty clear and there are some reasonable laughs. However, for me the 2 parallel plot lines don't really work and, in particular, they don't seem to link at all. I am also struggling to see where this might be going as a series.

This didn't really work for me; mostly banter with little moving the plot forward, no real cliffhanger and not much of a conclusion really. The characters are somewhat delineated to the two central ones are quite similar.

As others have said, this is a great premise and Pip is a lovely smooth criminal (see what I did there?). The rest of the characters could perhaps do with being clearer; but the plot works and its well written with good laughs.

There is good writing here; the dialogue is generally pretty believable, and the plot works - but there are just too few laughs for me to give it a 'yes'. The Mirandaesque asides to the audience don't work well for me - they need to be funnier; without laughs they just become exposition, or at best narration. Could be good, but not quite there yet for me.

This feels like a sketch rather than a sitcom - and one that was done much better by Galton and Simpson for Tony Hancock. The characters need to be better drawn and the humour needs to go beyond banter for this to take off.

There are a good number of funnies and the dialogue works well; in particular the first scene zings along and introduces us to the characters well. The plot works and delivers regular laughs. Good stuff.

The writing here demonstrates some skill, but you need to give the audience an excuse to care about your central character. Donnie is just an arse with no redeeming quality or context - all great sitcom monsters have some humanity, or we can empathize a little with their predicament.

The premise is reasonable and the publicity stunt plot is not bad but the characterisation is weak. It is hard to tell them apart and the bantery feel does not really lend itself to believable dialogue. Build from character to get your laughs. The 'stakes' in a sitcom comes from the character not so much the situation; you don't have to be in peril of your life - to Basil Fawlty being embarrassed in front of important people is as bad as death; for Sheldon Cooper someone going in his room or using a public toilet would suffice.

Nice premise with some good writing. However, the plot didn't really grab me as much as I'd like (possibly just me) and I think there needs to be more laughs to keep it bubbling along. Not at all bad, but not quite there yet for me.

The repository for the righteous revenge of all those I have wronged in my reviews (it's mine).

Good luck everyone.


Kev F

  • Sunday 27th October 2013, 10:11pm
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts
Quote: mikemcc @ October 27 2013, 2:06 PM GMT

"Socks - Pub"
Some pretty good dialogue here but I don't think it'll work for this competition. I would like to see it done by the S.F.S.P.T. though. For this, NO.

To clarify, sadly the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre can't be there for the Nov 29th show (they'll be in Grangemouth, now you ask). We could make a video of the script, though I understand that would be a bit hard to show, and unfair to inflict on you all. And as you've worked out, it's not a script that anyone else could perform.

When I entered the script we hadn't confirmed Grangemouth and I thought we could be there. So, please vote freely based on the script, but the Socks will be disappointingly unavailable on the night.

Kev F & the Socks




  • Sunday 27th October 2013, 11:26pm [Edited]
  • sunderland, England
  • 1,130 posts

Come on a quick 20 or 30 yes votes and I'm right back in this! :D


Mr Ashdown

  • Monday 28th October 2013, 2:41am [Edited]
  • England
  • 124 posts


Thought I'd better post the results before the storm hits us and we're thrown back in time to the Dark Ages when nobody could get their news from George Takei's Facebook feed.

A huge thank you to all the participants - as many have remarked, the standard was really high this time round, with lots of voters um-ing and ah-ing over "maybe"s and "no"s.

To all the writers who submitted a sitcom script - thank you! It takes courage to put your work out there for peer review. I hope everyone found the process to be worthwhile, and the feedback useful.

25 valid sets of votes came in (I discounted those that were voting for one script on its own - honestly, it's not difficult to spot cheeky attempts to sway the votes!), and the results are as follows:

"Arthouse" 33
"Bookmobile" 22
"Hench" 17
"Socks - Pub" 16
"Buck Knightly" 15
"Backstage - Gun" 13
"On Message" 11
"Being Social" 10
"Honest" 10
"Shuuush!" 9
"Demeddlers" 9

"Ticking Over" 8
"2-to-1" 7
"Cult of Stan" 6
"HMS Bagworth" 6
"Men at Sea" 5
"Below the Line" 4
"Eden Meadows - caravan" 3
"Red or Dead" 2
"Cassie" 1
"Les Happy" 0
"Since You've Been Gone" 0
"Baxter" -1
"Flick of the Wrist" -1
"Chode Charity" -2
"2 Dimwits in a Lift" -3
"The Great Escape" -3
"The Magic Man" -3
"Turbulence" -3
"Urban Bohemia" -3
"Kate & Mika" -2
"Me, Myself & I" -5
"Mr Ego" -5
"Old Boy Band" -5
"The Social Committee" -6
"Daisy Daisy" -8
"Smooth Criminals" -8
"Donnie - Appraisal" -10
"Not Book Smart - Date" -10
"The Hole" -10
"Nobody & His Cat" -12

The top ten scripts will be read by the Bristol team, and FIVE will be chosen to be staged at the Ring O' Bells, Bath, on Friday 29th November. I'll update everyone on Sunday 3rd or Monday 4th November.

Since the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre will be in sunny Grangemouth on the night of the Bath show, I've just this second created the Welsh Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and it is they who will be performing the "Socks - Pub" script that made the top ten. Or, thinking about it, it might just be best if we wish the Socks all the best for their Grangemouth show, and discount them from the running this time round. This means that "Demeddlers" now gets a place in the top ten, and is in with a shout of making the show.

In the interests of fairness and openness, I'll upload my spreadsheet containing all the votes to the SitsVac Yahoo group files section, so you can all check my workings.

Thank you all again for taking part, now give yourselves a round of applause.

Kind regards,



Kev F

  • Monday 28th October 2013, 8:14am
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts

Sorry I wasn't able to join in the voting, and thanks everyone for putting my script in 4th place. As I've said elsewhere, I thought the Socks would be available to perform Socks-Pub in Bath but now we're not. I don't know if it's possible to perform with humans, but you're welcome to give it a go. If not, the Socks will be available to perform it at a future show.

Kev F & the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre



  • Monday 28th October 2013, 10:06am
  • Herts, England
  • 158 posts

I vote for Socks On Tour!

I'm really pleased I had a go and not at all disappointed with the result. I have a character I've been meaning to try out and only found out about this two days before the deadline. With the constructive comments I received there seems to be life in the idea so I will spend some real time on it, when I can.

Well done all who made the top 10/11. A couple of my favourites are right up there.


AvatarBCG Supporter


  • Monday 28th October 2013, 2:52pm
  • London, England
  • 806 posts

Well done everyone! And thank you to the Sitcom Trials organisers - this was my first entry and it was a valuable experience. Can't wait for the next one... :D


Alan O'Brien

  • Monday 28th October 2013, 8:47pm
  • Liverpool, England
  • 103 posts

And well done to whoever took the trouble to compile that spreadsheet of the votes - respect!



  • Monday 28th October 2013, 10:21pm
  • England
  • 22 posts

Having never written anything on the feed before (except votes on the last comp) I thought I would add a few ramblings...

Firstly, I just wanted to echo some of the earlier comments - well done all to those who submitted scripts and also to those who voted. I didn't manage to review any in time for last night's deadline - apologies. I really appreciate the effort that many of you put into the reviews, which I for one can say has helped me improve my scribblings.

For my effort ("On Message") the feedback was (again) appreciated - yes, any reference to Kevin was a mistake, but particularly the "Freddie Kruger" feedback. To be honest, I wasn't sure about it in my re-writes. As I am sure many of you will experience, you write in a bit of a bubble and often with your gut and what you think works (and more importantly what you find funny). Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't - but, in my view, it has got to come from your own funny bone otherwise it isn't going to ring true.

Ultimately, comedy is incredibly subjective (you only need to read the spectrum of views expressed on the sitcom forum as proof of it) and I think that is important to remember that.

In short, I think Kev and Vince have a good thing going here (and I doff my hat to you both...sorry, I just saw a trailer for Downton) and I hope those who may be feeling pretty deflated keep going - particularly if you love doing it!

Oh and by the way, if anyone receives an update on email via the egroup that I have uploaded a file, it is because I managed to accidentally delete mine....oops.



  • Monday 28th October 2013, 11:35pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 696 posts

Just to add my thanks to Vince, Kev and all those who voted (especially those who offered their thoughts on Arthouse). And big ups to those who put their stuff out there, it takes some guts and is the only way to progress.



  • Tuesday 29th October 2013, 7:03am
  • Ireland
  • 43 posts

I'd also like to thank Vince and Kev for organising this and thanks to those who took the time to read and comment on my script (Ticking Over). This was my first attempt at writing a sitcom and I now have a clear idea of where it needs improvement.

Congrats to those who got through and good luck with the rest of the Trials.


Mr Ashdown

  • Sunday 3rd November 2013, 10:59pm
  • England
  • 124 posts

This afternoon, the Bristol team read the ten short-listed sitcoms from our recent Sitcom Trials competition, and we've now selected the five sitcoms we'll be taking into rehearsal for the next Sitcom Trials show at the Ring O Bells, Bath, on Friday 29th November.

They are:

Arthouse by Graeme Knowles
Being Social by Naomi Carter
Hench by Andrew Tate
Bookmobile by Chris Dennis
Backstage by Neil Tollfree

Good scripts, all, and we're confident they will get laughs. Congrats to Graeme, Naomi, Andrew, Chris and Neil; commiserations to the writers who's scripts fell at the last hurdle - there was much fierce debate and it was a very close call.

Comp tickets will be available for Graeme, Naomi, Andrew, Neil and Chris.

The next Bristol show is on Friday April 4th, 2014, at the Wardrobe Theatre; script submissions will be invited from Sat 1st March 2014 - full details nearer the date.

Thanks again to everyone who entered/voted.




  • Monday 4th November 2013, 8:39am [Edited]
  • Herts, England
  • 158 posts

Well done to the top five!

A couple of my favourites still in.



Mr Ashdown

  • Thursday 21st November 2013, 5:54pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 124 posts

One week to go for the final Sitcom Trials show of 2013.

Friday 29th November, 8pm, Ring O Bells, Bath.

Five excellent sitcoms all for the price of a reasonably sized cake.


(Above photo: A few of the cast in rehearsal for the Australian Sitcom Trials)