British Comedy Guide

Live Sketch Show Looking For Writers Page 2

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elmonstro

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 10:57pm
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts
Quote: Lazzard @ 18th January 2015, 12:11 PM GMT

Hi,

Glad your opportunity is meeting with a strong response - not all do on here and I think it's a mark of how well you've pitched it and your general attitude.

One question - when you say no props, do you mean , literally, nothing.
Do you have tables and chairs for instance.
If someone was meant to be holding a mug of tea would they have to mime?

Cheers

(Bet you can't wait for my "Two blokes sitting at a table having a cup of tea" sketch..)

Thanks Lazzard, and thanks to everyone who has sent material in to me. I've had over 80 scripts in so far, it's been a great response and I WILL be getting back to everybody individually about every script as soon as I can.

I think, for now at least, the best way to think of the show is being a bit like a radio recording - only without the sound effects. The actors are on a small stage with scripts in hand and that's it. They might turn to each other and throw a look of annoyance, wave their arms around to reinforce a point they're making or whatever but that's about it. It's strictly theatre of the mind. It would certainly be nice to introduce an extra dimension like music, sound effects and an occasional prop but I want to get it up and running and successful without making life too complicated just now.

For me this show is all about good comedy writing and about having an opportunity to showcase emerging talent. There are so few opportunities to get our work out there in any meaningful way, especially in a manner that shows us directly what an audience thinks of it. I've called the show Beyond A Joke because the idea is to present work that is more than just jokes and stand up material. So the bulk of the evening and what the audience should come to expect is 10-12 sketches of between 2 and 5ish minutes in length. But once the night is established I would love and hope to incorporate very short sitcoms excepts into the show as an extra bonus feature. So maybe we have 5 sketches followed by a 5 minute sitcom excerpt to end the first half of the show. Then in the second half of the evening we do the remaining sketches and finish the show with the second half of the sitcom. So sketch writers get their material out there plus somebody gets to have ten minutes of a scripted sitcom (albeit adapted for the live stage similar to how the Sitcom Mission or The Sitcom Trials do it) performed on stage in front of a, by then hopefully understanding and open comedy audience. Another opportunity for getting folks' writing out there. Such is the dream anyway.

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Otterfox

  • Tuesday 20th January 2015, 11:12am
  • Tipperary, Ireland
  • 1,029 posts

This looks like a great opportunity. Have just sent a few sketches :)

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V Riddoch

  • Tuesday 20th January 2015, 8:53pm
  • Bromley, England
  • 137 posts
Quote: Will Cam @ 16th January 2015, 11:00 PM GMT Wave

welcome elmonstro. I really enjoyed that sketch and the cast's performance.

Couple of questions.

1. Is it topical stuff you're after or anything.
2. I take it the performers accents are their normal accent?
3. If we write a sketch will they use their own accent
4. (This is a daft one) De we need tee reet like in Our Wullie, or do we just write in English and they will 'translate'.
5. Do I sound very needy?

When did Oor Wullie move to Gateshead?

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Patrick Parkinson

  • Wednesday 21st January 2015, 12:37pm
  • Manchester, England
  • 25 posts

Hi,

I sent my sketch off yesterday

thanks

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elmonstro

  • Thursday 22nd January 2015, 11:07pm
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts

Thanks for all the sketches so far guys. I'm in the process of replying to everyone now with my thoughts and feedback. You may or may not welcome such feedback but I think when you've worked hard on material and then sent it off somewhere it's nice to hear SOMETHING back rather than receive a generic email or even nothing at all. So I'm trying to give everybody constructive criticism even on material that didn't quite work for me. Maybe something could be reworked into a better sketch? Maybe there's another comedic opportunity you hadn't thought of for your characters? It's so hard to get a decent second opinion on comedy writing and I hope mine is of some use to you.

In the meantime the single biggest problem I've come up against is sketches not being written for the stage. I understand a lot of the material submitted will have been written with radio or TV shows in mind and that's fine. I can work with that in many cases and concentrate on just seeing the funnies. If it's a good sketch it can always be reworked for the stage. But when the funnies rely too heavily on visual gags (looks to camera, cars driving by with a monkey driving etc) that's never going to work in a live setting. We don't have a monkey licence for starters. So please bear in mind when submitting anything new that this is a live show. No props. No sound fx. No TV cameras and definitely no monkeys. Or rabbits or other animals. Here is an example of a script which worked at our first show and is very much the kind of thing we are looking for. It incoporates a tiny bit of visual humour as a bonus for the audience but it's otherwise all about the dialogue.

STOPCOCK by CONAN PETERS

Jim: Have you had a hard-on that wasn't your fault?

WOMAN: (Screams in horror) Aaaaaaaagh!!!!!

Susan: Pitched a tent in your pants and someone's clocked it?

MAN: (Disgusted) You dirty bastard.

Susan: Call Stop Cock today on 1-800 Down Boy for emergency penile assistance.

Jim: Guys! In today's fast paced world we just don't have the time to check what our penises get up to from one minute to the next.

Susan: Yet the merest fruity thought or summer breeze is all it takes to set your manfellow on fire!!

Jim: It could be miles to the nearest cushion. (Covers his groin with one hand and looks coy)

Jim holds up a "wanking" fist.

Susan: And it's not always convenient to whip out the old wanking spanner (points to Jim's fist)and just crack one off.

WOMAN: Father Bingley! This is a funeral!

MAN: (Mimics throwing up) Bleugh!!!!

Jim: So. What do you do?

Susan: You call Stop Cock - on 1-800 Down Boy. Our highly trained team of expert deflatists are standing by to give you instant relief.

Jim: (To audience) They're not whores!

Susan: Far from it. They use a tried and tested approach which is guaranteed to make your problem wood (point to Jim's groin) go "TIM-BERRRR!" (mimes a tree falling over with her arm) as quickly as possible.

WOMAN: (Very Brightly) Good morning Stop Cock. What is the nature of your emergency?

MAN: (Panics desperately, slightly out of breath) Powerpoint presentation; important clients in the room and I've got a fat one brewing!

WOMAN: (Concerned, speaks quickly) Em, em, ok sir, er... Back hair! Shitty knickers. False teeth.

MAN: Oh God... hurry!

WOMAN: Isle of Man, Betamax video, YOUR GRANNY'S BRA!

MAN: Phew! Thanks Stop Cock. You sure stopped MY cock - and in the nick of time too.

Susan: Whatever your sexual preference.

Jim: Be it animal, vegetable (all smiley and knowing) or even a sexy mineral - Phoar!

Susan: We'll figure out what DOESN'T work for you and talk your bad boy DOWN.

Jim: Before it f**ks your day UP.

Susan: You know, it's a scientific fact that men think about sex an incredible 18 times every second.

Jim: (Brightly) I'm thinking about it now!

Susan: Your pork sword could swing up without warning.

MAN: (Looks down at his groin) Shit!!!

Susan: You could be a teenage boy at his sexual peak.

Jim: Or a Tory MP NEAR a teenage boy at his sexual peak.

WOMAN: (SCREAMS LOUDLY) Run Billy! Ruuuun!!

Susan: It's time to face facts. It's just a matter of time before you too get a hard-on at the worst possible moment.

Jim: (Brightly) I've got one now! But Stop Cock is here to help.

Susan: And here's something else to get you excited.

Jim: (Points to groin) But not THAT excited.

Susan: Introducing the new Stop Cock Guarantee.

Jim: A Guarantee so solid you could cut DIAMONDS with it! Grrrr!

Dick: (American, speaks slowly but passionately) Hi, I'm Dick Whopper, the founder of Stop Cock. I believe in this company. I believe in this company so goddamn much that if you're not 100% satisfied with the service we provide, you can come round to my house and kick me right in the balls - I mean it!

Jim: But wait, what if it's too late to call Stop Cock?

Susan: It's never too late to call.

Jim: You mean?

Susan: Yes. Even if your pecker has already put you in the shit.

Jim: What, right up to the balls?

Susan: Our legal department is on hand to help you get off.

Jim: (Incredulous) What, sexually?

Susan: No. Our high priced lawyers can handle you like a pro.

Jim: (To audience) Still not whoares!

Susan: So, don't let your amusin' protrusin cause public confusin'.

Jim: It could lead to prosecution and eventual execuoosin'.

MAN: (In quiet terms & conditions voice) Execution is unlikely.

Susan: But we have the soloosion!

Jim: That's right Soosin' - caaaallll Stop Cock.

Susan: On 1-800 Down Boy!

Jim: That's 1-800 Down Boy!

Susan: We'll take your boner off its owner.

Jim: And put the wrinkle back in your tinkle.

Jim/Susan Brightly: Call Stop Cock today!

MAN &
WOMAN: (SING JINGLE) On 1-800...

CALLUM: (Barks twice like a little dog) Ruff ruff.

MAN &
WOMAN: Down Boy!

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blahblah

  • Friday 30th January 2015, 12:10am
  • sunderland, England
  • 1,130 posts

Do you accept previous performed material?

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elmonstro

  • Friday 30th January 2015, 12:12am
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts
Quote: blahblah @ 30th January 2015, 12:10 AM GMT

Do you accept previous performed material?

Absolutely. Funny is the only thing that matters.

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blahblah

  • Friday 30th January 2015, 12:29am
  • sunderland, England
  • 1,130 posts

Great I'll send a couple in now.

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elmonstro

  • Thursday 12th February 2015, 9:56pm
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts

Thank you everybody for the material you've been submitting. Apologies if I've not got back to you yet - I promise I will be in touch soon. A few people have asked if I'm still looking for material and the answer is a definite YES. The show is on every month and chews up scripts but only good ones...

Our most recent show was on Tuesday night and I've posted a video of the winning sketch, as voted for by the audience, online which you can see here. Call it inspiration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZidQzTWKyIs

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The Producer

  • Saturday 9th May 2015, 1:44pm
  • England
  • 302 posts

Am bumping this to say it's well worth writing for - got good notes back/a chance to rewrite the sketch I sent to the last show, and then they made some very good edits to the performance script.

Am also bumping from a completely selfish view because the audience voted mine best sketch, so you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U_lMMNQssA

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Stephen Goodlad

  • Saturday 9th May 2015, 4:52pm
  • Mirfield, England
  • 3,720 posts

I have listen really hard to understand the dialogue and then only get half of it.

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Trinder

  • Saturday 9th May 2015, 7:45pm
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 180 posts

Concur. Colin is great, encouraging and helpful and patient with me as I bombard the poor sod with sketches that aren't quite right on a weekly basis. If there's any justice Beyond a Joke will become Newsrevue/Treason Show-esque in popularity.

That said, I can only assume that 'the Producer' won this week because he bribed the audience.

Git.

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Shandonbelle

  • Sunday 10th May 2015, 4:30pm
  • England
  • 6,571 posts

Agree sound quality wasn't great but I got the gist of it. Not sure if this was a one off as the couple I listened to a while back were fine.