Sitcom Mission, the international sitcom writing competition, has announced the longlist for its 2023 contest.
The longlisted entries are:
Cerys Lockwood-Farnaby Is Online by Matt Harrison
Cole's Law by William Vandyck
Ladies by Chloe Page
Marketing 101 by Kalum Wilson
Please, Take A Seat by Tom Worsley
Top Gut by Tom Critch
The producers will now present the six 15 minute comedies at a showcase, performed by actors, at the Canal Café Theatre on 7th June, from 8pm. Tickets
The four scripts that work best with an audience will then go on to the industry showcase at the Museum of Comedy on 28th June (2pm - 3:30pm).
Simon Wright and Lawrence Russell, who are overseeing the competition, say: "At our very first showcase way back in 2009 a very famous commissioner said that it was the first time she'd been in a room with all the other commissioners, and we've continued to attract the attention of industry since. This year's selections feature an impressive spread of scripts, ranging from a historical but oh-so-contemporary sitcom, to a radio sitcom about the NHS. We're looking forward to showcasing the work at the Canal Café next week. It's a fabulous venue, but it isn't huge so get in there early as tickets are strictly limited."
They add: "We would like to thank everybody who entered this year. Competition was stiff and there were a lot of scripts that came very close, so we're urging everyone to keep going whether with the script they entered for 2023 or something new. We all know that often, it only takes a few tweaks for everything to click into place."
Below are more details about the longlisted finalists, and their scripts:
CERYS LOCKWOOD-FARNABY IS ONLINE by Matt Harrison
Narrated through her social media posts, we witness a middle-class girl's pathetic attempts to fit in with her working-class "friends".
Matt has spent the last eleven years working in IT support, but his real passion has always been in writing comedy. He began with writing material for his local stage school and producing content for YouTube. In 2021, he graduated from the National Film and Television School with a diploma in "Writing and Producing Comedy", and it has since been his ambition to write a sitcom of his own. So far, his TV and radio credits include Comic Relief, Please Use Other Door, Age Of Outrage and The Skewer. Matt lives in Basingstoke with his family, and loves going to see live comedy.
Matt says: "This is an amazing opportunity, and I'm thrilled to have been selected! Can't wait to see the scripts performed!"
COLE'S LAW by William Vandyck
Two barristers take on cases at a weekly pro-bono legal evening in a pub: Asha is an ambitious social crusader; Robert is not those things. And frankly Terry the barman is a crook.
William Vandyck's writing credits include a Radio 4 sketch show And Now, In Colour that won a New York Radio Festivals Silver Award, and a TV sketch show, It's A Mad World World World World. His sitcom script was one of four winners of Pozzitive Productions' Funnydotcomp in 2022. He has also written children's books (Amazon reviews include, "Slight, but quite funny") and was "Man At Till" in a Mr Bean episode. He has mainly been a barrister, however, starting out with small cases and pro-bono work. Leaving the bar to focus on writing, his new creativity is fully on show in his sitcom Cole's Law, about barristers starting out with small cases and pro-bono work.
William comments: "It's incredibly exciting to think my script is going to be brought to life before an audience. What an honour and a treat!"
LADIES by Chloe Page
Two ladies in waiting struggle to achieve fame and love in the cutthroat world of the Tudor court.
An aspiring sitcom writer from up North (well, actually more like the chillier, less interesting part of the middle) where laughing is famously quite popular. During her fevered adolescence she spent much of her time in her room scribbling jokes (with a pen, not a keyboard-yes, she is that old) and dreaming of making the world guffaw. Since then, although the annoying necessity of making enough money to buy food has sometimes got in the way, she's carried on trying to be funny, though the jokes are now digital. She mostly finds writing a painful and unpleasant process, which has left her with barely enough bits of fingernails to make up one proper one. But the satisfaction of making herself laugh, and hopefully a few other people too, is monumentally worth it.
Chloe notes: "I'm absolutely thrilled to have made it to this stage - to have got this far in such a great international competition feels amazing. It makes all those hours of hard work and frustration worth it!"
MARKETING 101 by Kalum Wilson
Dylan starts work at a top digital marketing agency, there's just one problem. He has no idea what he's doing.
Kalum Wilson is a 24-year-old writer and comedian based in London. Following a stint in the city's stand-up comedy circuit - telling jokes about his relationships, childhood bullies and of course, jam - he has made the (completely unique and not at all predictable) jump to the writer's seat. He now writes comedy for radio and TV, drawing from experiences in life, work and the minutiae of the everyday. Without sounding oxymoronic, Kalum takes comedy seriously. He treats each joke and each line on the page as the precious real-estate that it is.
Kalum says: "Marketing 101 is the first TV script I've ever written, so to be shortlisted by Sitcom Mission at such an early stage of my career is a huge honour! I'm looking forward to seeing my work read out on stage."
PLEASE, TAKE A SEAT by Tom Worsley
A team of idiosyncratic NHS admin drones must fight off the symptoms of excess paperwork and HR policy in a small-town hospital as their bureaucracy-obsessed, ambitious manager fights for promotion.
Tom Worsley is a comedy and children's writer based in Glasgow. He was part of the BBC Writersroom's inaugural 'Scottish Voices' development group, where he was commissioned to write a sitcom pilot for BBC Radio Scotland called Sue And John, which was later nominated for a Celtic Media Award. He later worked on BBC Scotland's mock-documentary cop comedy Scot Squad. He has written topical sketches and jokes for BBC Radio Scotland's Noising Up and Breaking The News, and most recently for the BBC Radio 4 Extra sketch show DMs Are Open. He is also a writer for kids' TV, having worked on the CBeebies pirate show Swashbuckle. He was previously an NHS administrator which inspired Please, Take A Seat...
Tom comments: "I'm so pleased to make the longlist of Sitcom Mission 2023. We need more scripted narrative comedy on TV and radio and this is such a great opportunity to promote new sitcom writers."
TOP GUT by Tom Critch
An old-school taxi company gets its first female driver who sends shockwaves through the male dominated ranks.
Tom is a freelance writer who's worked on short and feature films, audio podcasts and serial content. Part of Sky's Comedy Rep programme, winner of the David Nobbs Memorial Trust competition and winner of Best Comedy at the Portobello Film Festival. Has worked with a variety of production companies including Rusty Quill, County Hall Arts, and writer/director Azhur Saleem. Co-writer on Ardvale Films award winning entry The Last Union for the London 48 Hour Film Challenge and co-wrote horror feature BITE for Arthrofilm. Currently has two shorts in post-production, one with Digital Saints and one with J Black Films.
Tom writes: "Chuffed to bits doesn't quite cover it, I'm hugely excited to see how the script goes down in front of a live crowd. Since the script is a love letter to Top Gun it seems only fitting to hope that my ego ain't writing cheques my words can't cash! ... Dear God did I actually just type that??"
Sitcom Mission will return in 2024. Sitcom Mission website