British Comedy Guide

Sitcom Trials 2015 Page 3


Kev F

  • Sunday 11th October 2015, 8:17pm [Edited]
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts


Hi Sitcom Trials writers,

Sorry for the form email, but thanks for being one of the 48 writers who's entered this month's Halloween-themed Sitcom Trials. I wish you all well (though there are only 4 space in the show in Manchester, so please don't be too disappointed if you don't make the cut for that).

However now is the opportunity to participate in the next best thing, the online review process - the Read, Review and Vote stage.

What we want everyone to do is to read as many scripts as possible (though I know no-one can read all of them) and for every one you read, write a small review then vote Yes, Maybe or No.

These votes are then totted up as Yes = 2 points, Maybe = 1 point, and No = minus 1 point. This way your votes affect all the scripts you have read, and leave unaffected those you've not been able to.

You upload all of your finished Reviews & Votes, in one document, to the Files:

The deadline for uploading your votes (all in one document please) is midnight, Saturday October 17th. If you can, please do.

The contenders for the Sitcom Trials Halloween Special are:

A Cloud Got In The Way - Paul Campbell
A Killers Guide To Halloween - Kain Watson
A Man Called Henry - Robin Calvert
A Peak At The Void - Tai Campbell
After Steven Halloween - Gah Brown
Baby Driver - Christy White-Spunner
Being Frank - Andy Partington
Big Pickle - Jordan Birch
Cannibal Massacre - Naomi Palmer
Contacting The Other Side - Anna Wood
Country Rock Zombie - Neil Tollfree
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sects - Nathan Evans
Frank & Stein - Shezah Salam
Giving Up The Ghost - Scott Davenport
Godhammer - Paul Bruce
Grandma Knows Best - Maggie R Drahovska
Greenford Bunker - Nick John Whittle
Halloween Party - Michael Healy
How Not To Die - Adam Charles Baker
Infernal Seekers - Adam Martin
Invasion - Amanda Lee-Ross
Is This Seat Taken - James Wordsworth
Jeremy's - Caroline Dowse
Los Escapa - Naomi Westerman
Me 2.0 - Dan Hobson & Jon Bridle
Murder Manor - Paul Gibson
My Name Is Kevin For We Are Many - Dan Tindale-Taylor
On The Cards - Paul Gorrie
Radio Happy - MJ Gregory
Roomie - Lewis Charlesworth
Script Check Up From The Neck Up - Alan Morgan
Some Will Die - Jon Brown
Staying Dead - Julie Burrows
The Bitchin Hour - Amina Lesley Mottley
The Chillings - Margaret Mather
The Curryvan of Courage - Belinda Hirzel
The Fiddler At The Courthouse - Thomas Boyle
The Killer Beside Me - Chris Mitchell
The Last Picture House On The Left - Elliot Stewart
The Master Bedroom - Philip Trow
The Monsters Are Revolting - Michael Young
The Orange Whistle - Shirley King
The Party - Sean Fee
The Psychics Nightmare - Charlie Lindgren
The Vampire Revival - Benetti & Mallon
Up Goblin - Nick John Whittle
Witches Be Crazy - Tobias Nichols
Zombie In The House - Randy Gross

All the best

Kev F Sutherland


Kev F

  • Wednesday 21st October 2015, 8:58pm [Edited]
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts


21 OCT:

Sean Mason, Manchester Sitcom Trials team writes:

We sat down with a cast of actors last night to read through the scripts. We had plenty of fun and thought the general quality to be very high. Some were unanimous decisions, some we really had to um and aargh(!) about. We went with the scripts that impressed us with strong character and smart gags that read well.

The best writers are ones who craft characters and stories that are compelling and are able to cram quite a lot into not a lot of time. We hope all the writers who didn't make it into the shortlist this time round the best of luck and hopefully you'll come back next year and do even better!

THE FINAL FOUR! (to be performed on Sunday Oct 25th)

The Party by Sean Fee

After Steven by James & Brown

Baby Driver by Christy White-Spunner

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sects (But Were Afraid To Ask) by Nathan Evans

Congratulations to everyone who's taken part in the script entry and selection for this show. Hopefully the online script selection has benefitted everyone, and the show on Sunday will be fun for all who can make it (tickets only £3, details below).

Meanwhile stay tuned for news of how you can participate in the next Sitcom Trials productions - and we hope that will include all of the writers, and some of the scripts, we've seen already in this year's Trials.


18 OCT:

The votes have been counted (my thanks to Gary Brown and other members of the Sitcom Trials Facebook group for doing the adding up and cross-checking each others totals) from a wonderful influx of 32 different contributors who Read, Reviewed and Voted on as many scripts as they could manage, from the long list of 48. Well done and thankyou to everyone who took part in this process, I hope the peer-reviewing has been a positive and constructive thing for all of us, not just the few who've gained the highest scores.

The top of the list, from which the Manchester team now need to chose the sitcoms they'll perform in the Halloween Sitcom Trials, look like this:

36 points*: Witches Be Crazy - Tobias Nichols
34 The Bitchin Hour - Amina Lesley Mottley
32 Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sects - Nathan Evans
24 Baby Driver - Christy White-Spunner
23 A Killers Guide To Halloween - Kain Watson
22 After Steven Halloween - James & Brown
22 The Party - Sean Fee
21 Country Rock Zombie - Neil Tollfree
19 Is This Seat Taken - James Wordsworth

*A Yes Vote counted as 2 points, a Maybe as 1 point, and a No Vote as minus 1 point. Hence the lowest ranking script in the table (above) having scored minus 13.

Since the next five scripts on the table have tied with 17 points, I think it's fair to make an arbitrary decision and to call the Top 9 The Shortlist. Sean and team will be choosing 4 scripts to perform from this list, but not necessarily the 4 at the top of this list. The online script selection has served to choose the scripts that have read well on paper, but once heard in a round table reading, other considerations will become clear as to what is going to work live or not. So, though we've made a cut-off point for the shortlist (and many scripts were only a vote away from being in this list, such is fate) we now make a considered decision and selection from the 9 we see above.

Stay tuned to hear which scripts Sean and his team will be selecting to perform live on October 25th in Manchester.



Kev F

  • Tuesday 27th October 2015, 4:10pm
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts


The Halloween Sitcom Trials cast, Rob Hudson, Leni Columbo Murphy, Sean Mason, Kev Sutherland, Jennifer Banks and Daniel Thackeray. (Photo by Brainne Edge)

The Halloween Sitcom Trials took place at the Kings Arms Salford on October 25th, with four sitcoms, each with a spooky seasonal theme, going head to head in front of a live audience who voted for their favourite and only saw the ending of the winner. What were the results?



The first flipchart drawing is clearly Father Jack from Father Ted, but can anyone recognise who, and from the Halloween episode of which famous sitcom, the second picture's meant to be?* (Answer at foot of blog) Either way, these drawings by me were two of the prizes in The Pitch Fest (the audience members come up with their own ideas for sitcoms). But that's not what you're interested in. You want to know the result of the night...


Well, as you can see, the audience voted and decided that the Best Use Of Food In A Sitcom was the cheese from I'm Alan Partridge, easily beating competition from the wine in Last Of The Summer Wine, Neil's lentils in The Young Ones, the porridge in Porridge, the cake with a jumper baked in it from Father Ted, a muffin from an episode of Friends, Homer's 12 foot hoagy from the Simpsons (runner up), Scooby Doo's Scooby Snacks, and Grandad's Christmas Dinner from Only Fools And Horses.

What's that you say? That wasn't the result you were waiting for? Fair enough.

The four sitcoms in contention were:
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sects by Nathan Evans
Baby Driver by Christy White-Spunner
The Party by Sean Fee
After Steven by James & Brown

And the winner of the audience vote, and the sitcom that had its ending performed as a reward, was The Party by Sean Fee.

An excellent night's performance, stay tuned for the video following soon. Congratulations to Sean Fee and all of the writers whose sitcoms made it to the stage, and to Sean Mason and his marvellous cast who brought them all to life. Watch this space for details of forthcoming shows.


* It's Ade Edmondson as Eddie out of Bottom, dressed as a banana. Not, as many of you guessed, Heston Blumenthal cooking himself.


Kev F

  • Wednesday 28th October 2015, 10:14am [Edited]
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts


Click to view the highlights video from the Halloween Sitcom Trials 2015 from Manchester.

The four sitcoms in contention were:

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sects by Nathan Evans
Baby Driver by Christy White-Spunner
The Party by Sean Fee
After Steven by James & Brown

And the winner of the audience vote, and the sitcom that had its ending performed as a reward, was...? (Watch the video to find out)

Full report with photos here.

And if you have a taste for this kind of thing, here are the videos from:
2012's Bristol Halloween Sitcom Trials,
and 2012's Manchester Halloween Sitcom Trials.