The Function Room. Image shows from L to R: PC Kelly Mink (Jessica Knappett), Yannick Montagu (Daniel Rigby), PC Bracket (Reece Shearsmith), Inspector Tony Marks (Kevin Eldon), Steve Lawson (Blake Harrison), Jim Costello (Paul Ritter). Copyright: Zeppotron.

The Function Room

Press Clippings

Review: The Function Room - 'Meet the Police'

It was a fun, frothy half-hour sitcom; brilliantly performed by a starry cast, whose efforts helped raise a script that occasionally got stuck in a rut. However, I'm not convinced there's mileage in the very limited concept.

Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 20th August 2012

The Function Room is something which I read about earlier this year and I thought sounded really good - a possible rival for Craig Cash and Phil Mealey's brilliant pub sitcom Early Doors from the early 00s. And I have to say - aside from the annoyingly loud studio audience - I liked it.

The cast was brilliant - Trollied's Beverly Rudd, The Inbetweeners' Blake Harrison, The Vicar of Dibley's James Fleet to name just a few. There was even a great late appearance from Psychoville's and one quarter of The League of Gentlemen's, Reece Shearsmith. With such a strong cast, I had a certain faith in The Function Room before it even started... and that faith paid off.

It took a while but right from the moment a disgruntled Rudd uttered the word "Bergetw*t", I found this show very funny.

I think the key to The Function Room, and something which seems to be missing from quite a few comedies nowadays, is strong characters. From a very theatrical actor (Fleet), to a passionate busy-body who generally objects to everything (Daniel Rigby, the one who plays the slightly odd flatmate in the BT ads), and to a young, outspoken couple who only seemed to be at the 'Meet the Police' meeting 'for the craic' (Harrison and Rudd).

The Function Room definitely has legs and should be picked up by Channel 4 even just as a three-part series. It's far more deserving than Verry Terry!

UK TV Reviewer, 20th August 2012

I lost count, during The Function Room (Channel 4, Sunday), how many times the uniformly excellent cast said "shit" ... Admittedly, the police and residents meeting in a pub sought to crack the case of the so-called Shit-Egg Killer, a venal hurler of uncouth missiles through blameless suburban windows. They won't use that nickname in the press, counselled Kevin Eldon's weary-eyed copper. Yeah, no one puts shit in the papers, a sarky resident quipped. Not even the Daily Mail.

Writer Dan Maier and the cast were enjoying themselves so much it was infectious. "A phalanx of youths have been causing ructions in my cul-de-sac," complained an out-of-work camp thesp plummily, introducing a Crimewatch-meets-Mrs-Slocombe vibe. It's nice to see Simon Day playing another pub bore. He wasn't saying that talcum powder is made from human skulls, just noting that episodes of ethnic cleansing are followed by rises in global talc production. I'm not sure where Maier goes after this pilot, but I really want to find out. Commission a series, Channel 4!

Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 19th August 2012

The Function Room is a cheerfully traditional and often very funny studio sitcom set in a pub, and starring a host of familiar comedy actors including The Vicar of Dibley's James Fleet, The League of Gentlemen's Reece Shearsmith, The Inbetweeners' Blake Harrison, The Fast Show's Simon Day (once again playing a pub know-it-all) and every-comedy-of-the-last-fifteen-years' Kevin Eldon.

The sort of uproariously gag-heavy sitcom that encourages deserved rounds of applause from its studio audience, it's definitely a step in the right direction for Channel 4, and if they have any sense - which they don't - they'll commission 
a series.

Paul Whitelaw, The Scotsman, 19th August 2012

Set above a village pub and starring a motley crew of British TV's bit-part stars, there's a lot of goodwill riding on The Function Room to work. Comic's comic Kevin Eldon takes the lead as local bobby Tony Marks, playing the unlikely straight man in a roomful of idiots as he hosts a daft residents' meeting on home security. Naturally, the agenda is hijacked to resolve a whodunnit on the mysterious identity of the 'shit egg killer' - the local kook terrorising victims by chucking parcels of turd through their windows. Reece Shearsmith, Simon Day and Josephine Butler all take a turn at scene-stealing, but this is a conventional studio sitcom with all the traits that genre brings: gentle jokes, obvious characters and an audience always laughing harder than you are.

Nosheen Iqbal, Time Out, 19th August 2012

If any sitcom can get you to laugh out loud - properly cackle - in its pilot episode, that has to be a good sign. There were iffy spells in this script from Dan Maier, but they're overlookable. The main thing is, it delivered great moments, courtesy of the regulars visiting the upstairs room of a local pub on the evening of a "Meet the Police" event. It doesn't hurt that both drinkers and visitors are played by a remarkable cast.

If I tell you Simon Day from The Fast Show contributes a (very funny) cameo and Reece Shearsmith from The League of Gentlemen doesn't appear until two-thirds of the way through, you'll get the idea.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 19th August 2012

Experienced cast announced for The Function Room pilot

Reece Shearsmith, Kevin Eldon, James Fleet and Simon Day are amongst the cast for the new pub-based Comedy Showcase pilot The Function Room.

British Comedy Guide, 15th September 2011