Press clippings

Alma's Not Normal, review

Sophie Willan turns trauma into comedy gold.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 13th September 2021

Alma's Not Normal, BBC2, review

Sophie Willan's comedy is a joyful portrait of the North we rarely see on TV.

Emily Baker, i Newspaper, 13th September 2021

Alma's Not Normal series filming in Bolton

Filming is underway on Alma's Not Normal, Sophie Willan's BBC Two sitcom about a Boltonian woman and her family of eccentric, unruly women.

British Comedy Guide, 10th May 2021

Alma's Not Normal review

For a pilot episode, Alma's Not Normal easily achieves what it's meant to do and introduces a cast of intriguing, sympathetic characters we'd like to hear more from. Most crucially, they are complex, authentic people portrayed in a way we don't usually see on television.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 7th April 2020

TV preview: Alma's Not Normal, BBC Two

Comedian Sophie Willan has been one of stand-up's most distinctive voices in recent years. Honest, outspoken and frank about her life, she has now has drawn on her history to write this one-off pilot. If the BBC does not commission a series it must need its head examined.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 5th April 2020

Alma's Not Normal begins filming

Sophie Willan's upcoming New On Two sitcom pilot, Alma's Not Normal, has begun filming on location in Bolton.

British Comedy Guide, 13th February 2020

To a suburban semi, where Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith have gone a bit Mike Leigh. It's Nana's birthday party, thrown by Angela (Claire Skinner), the more successful of her two daughters. Into a house kept pristine by Angela's crippling OCD blows bitter dipsomaniac Carol (Lorraine Ashbourne). Pemberton and Shearsmith are the golf-sweatered husbands waging a cold war via practical jokes. As one prank blows up a mass of secrets, the script slides effortlessly from funny to dark to desperately sad.

Jack Seale, The Guardian, 23rd April 2015

Radio Times review

The praise lavished upon this anthology series from viewers and TV critics alike is justly deserved, and this episode is another cracker. In Nana's Party, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith (writing and directing) play prankster brothers-in-law who, with their wives (Claire Skinner as an OCD mum and Lorraine Ashbourne as her alcoholic sister), gather for Maggie's 79th birthday. Cue another delightfully ditsy turn from Benidorm's Elsie Kelly.

The half-hour unfolds like a micro-packaged Mike Leigh drama, with finely judged performances as secrets and lies are exposed in cosy suburbia. All it's lacking is Timothy Spall grunting.

Patrick Mulkern, Radio Times, 23rd April 2015

Although every single episode in this series is completely different, somehow Messrs Pemberton and Shearsmith manage to score one bullseye after another. In tonight's episode, a stressed-out daughter (Claire Skinner) invites her mother (Elsie Kelly) over to celebrate her 79th birthday party. The other guests are an alcoholic sister (Lorraine Ashbourne) and her appalling husband (Reece Shearsmith), and it degenerates into the birthday party from hell. And while the inferno is raging all around her, Granny sits there smiling, endlessly reciting the joke on her birthday card or playing games on her granddaughter's iPad. Imagine a more twisted version of Abigail's Party.

David Chater, The Times, 18th April 2015

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