I've just launched a new live sketch show in Glasgow called Beyond a Joke and I'm putting out a general call for scripts from anyone who thinks they can deliver a genuinely funny sketch or sketches for a comedy stage.
The idea behind this is to offer an actual opportunity for writers who have good material but who don't yet have an audience or any sort of outlet. It's hard to get much or indeed any material on the radio, never mind the TV and most writers aren't keen on performing it themselves. Okay maybe secretly some of you are.
So what happens to all the great material you've written in the solitude of your own home? Chances are it never gets an audience and ends up being curled into a tight paper ball and tossed angrily at your desktop upon hearing the latest viewing figures for Mrs Browns Boys (insert own comedy bête noire here).
Send me your scripts and if they're good I'll put them in the show and if they're really good and go down a storm I'll post a video of the sketch being performed on the Beyond A Joke Facebook page which you can watch, share, show off to anyone you like or ignore as you see fit. The audience are given voting slips on the night and they decide which sketch was the best.
So there's no producer with a tin ear for comedy gold deciding that your sketch is no good when you know better. Well OK there's me. But if I like your sketch and think it will work it will go into the show and an audience based jury of your peers will let you know it it's as good as you think. Our first show was on Tuesday and I'm including a link here to the winning sketch so you can see what it all looks like.
Some important info:
There are four performers and it's live on stage with no props or sound effects so you need to write for that setup.
The show is based in a small comedy club in Glasgow called Yesbar but I'll happily take sketches from anywhere. Anywhere at all.
Nobody's messing around with any rights or anything silly like that. You wrote the sketch, it's yours and you'll be properly credited for it.
Finally, no, sorry. There's no payment for this although I wish there was. It's a very small comedy club and any money on the door goes to the performers, which on balance, is fair. But if your material is strong and goes down well on the night - and we'll work very hard to wring every possible laugh out of your material - then you'll have a video, or at the very least an audio recording online with the sound of an audience laughing their socks off at something you've written.
This is all coming from a good place with no hidden agendas, false promises or a desire to take advantage of anybody. Not every comedy writer lives in London with its numerous live shows or has access to performers. There are probably lots of other opportunities just like this, maybe even on this very site. But this is mine. I'm a writer just like you and I want somewhere to put my material and good material from other writers who can deliver. So I've set up my own night rather than wait for something to come to me.
If this isn't for you then no harm done. But if, as I hope, that you see this as a fun opportunity to have your comedy voice performed and actually heard by an audience then go over to the Facebook page (lik is below) for details on where to send your sketches. The next show is on Tuesday 10th February but I'd need material by the end of January to give the actors time to rehearse.
Here's the winning sketch from Tuesday night. You don't have to think it's great because the audience did so now it's online. And Conan is delighted. I hope you get to be delighted next month. Thanks for reading.