A chance to see some of the best new comedy in development in the North at the BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase 2015

This is a crucial breeding ground for bringing through the very best in new writing and performing comedy talent. It's invaluable to have the live audience tell us what appeals and what they'd like to see more of. Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning
Date: 22.04.2015     Last updated: 22.04.2015 at 10.36
Category: Comedy; BBC North
BBC North and BBC Comedy Commissioning are pleased to announce plans for the Salford Sitcom Showcase 2015, at dock10 Studios, MediaCityUK, Salford on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 May. This will be the fourth Salford Sitcom Showcase and the event has firmly established itself as a key part of the commissioning landscape for comedy in the North.

Studio audiences each night will be treated to a screened pilot plus a live theatrical performance. Tuesday starts with the debut screening of Phil Ellis’ Funz and Gamez followed by a live performance from Janice Connolly in character as Barbara Nice, and on Wednesday audiences will be treated to the debut screening of Fishbowl written by Andrew Mettam and live performances from some of the UK’s finest emerging character comedians - Lucy Beaumont, Gemma Whelan (as Chastity Butterworth), Daisy Cooper (as Kerry) and Elis James and Joseph Morpurgo performing multiple characters.

The ballot for audience tickets opens on Wednesday 22 April through to Tuesday 28 April, with free tickets available from www.bbc.co.uk/events

Additionally on both days, comedy workshops and masterclasses for aspiring writers and comedians are being organised by BBC Writersroom in collaboration with Salford University, MediaCityUK. A full programme of events and tickets (allocated on a first come first served basis) can be accessed via the BBC Writersroom website 

Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy, says: "This is a crucial breeding ground for bringing through the very best in new writing and performing comedy talent. It's invaluable to have the live audience tell us what appeals and what they'd like to see more of. The northern comedy legacy remains vital to the BBC as evidenced by the forthcoming Peter Kay's Car Share."

Peter Salmon, Director BBC England, says: “It’s great to unveil another fun-filled Salford Sitcom Showcase. We knew it was a good thing when we started it up and I’m chuffed that it is already becoming a firm fixture in the BBC North calendar - it's what we are all about, discovering new ideas, forging partnerships, looking for new business and creating platforms to celebrate the very best of our talent, as well as seeking out new stars and creating opportunities to showcase the very best of a vibrant region.”

Helen Spencer, Creative Director BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase 2015, adds: “We are really looking forward to showcasing some of the best talent from across the North. The showcase is a pivotal point of the BBC’s year round work to support and nurture talent from across the UK. It continues to build a reputation as THE place to have work seen by BBC Comedy Commissioners and Channel Controllers.

“It provides a fantastic platform for writers and performers to flex their funny bones in front of BBC commissioners and controllers who will join us, along with local audiences, to have a really good laugh!”

Last year’s Salford Sitcom Showcase saw Boy Meets Girl get commissioned for BBC Two (made by Tiger Aspect) and features in the Masterclass. Previous success stories also include Citizen Khan and Hebburn.

The line up this year features:

Tuesday 12 May 2015

A screened pilot of Funz and Gamez, written by Phil Ellis

Funz and Gamez was the cult hit of 2014 Edinburgh Festival, scooping the prestigious Foster’s panel prize. Now, the family show has been made into a unique TV comedy game show and North West audiences will be treated to the debut screening of the pilot. Phil Ellis, Mick Ferry, James Meehan and Will Duggan make up the cast.

Funz and Gamez is a BBC Comedy In-house production, the executive producer is Rebecca Papworth, the director is John L Spencer and the producer is Lisa Clark.

A live theatrical performance of Barbara Nice, written by Janice Connolly and Dave Spikey

This energetic, laugh out loud show is fronted by the power-house performer/ writer Janice Connolly as her longstanding, nationally acclaimed stand up character Barbara Nice…"Barbara as in Streisand, Nice as in the biscuit." The cast includes Janice Connolly.

Barbara Nice is a BBC Comedy In-House production. The executive producers are Myfanwy Moore and Anil Gupta and the producer is Rebecca Papworth.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

A screened pilot of Fishbowl, written by Andrew Mettam
After Hattie’s disastrous first term at university her parents decide it’s probably best to bring her home to Yorkshire to recover. Home to suffocating parental love, unwanted childhood admirers, overbearing neighbours and the utter impossibility of escape.

The cast features, Mark Benton, Sally Lindsay, Katherine Rose Morley, Michael Smiley, Felicity Montagu, Edward Ashley, Alice Hewkin and Harry Mett.

Fishbowl is made by Bwark Productions (Inbetweeners Movie, Inbetweeners 2, Siblings (BBC3) & Drifters (e4)). The executive producer is Simon Wilson, the Director is Tom Marshall and the producer is Rhianna Andrews.

Plus live performances from some of the UK’s hottest character comedians - Lucy Beaumont, Gemma Whelan (as Chastity Butterworth), Daisy Cooper (as Kerry) and Elis James and Joseph Morpurgo performing multiple characters.

BBC Writers room and Salford University events
The complementary strand of classes offered to aspiring writers and comedians will be held at Salford University, MCUK. A full programme of events and tickets, allocated on a first come first served basis, can be accessed via www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/opportunities

Events include workshops, talks, masterclasses and panel discussions covering all aspects of comedy from writing through to commissioning.

LW / AF2