Comedy writers chosen for new project

Published: 19 September 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Sean Foley (sitting, left) and Anil Gupta with some of the writers accepted onto the scheme Credit: Graeme Braidwood

SKY Comedy Rep, a partnership between Birmingham Repertory Theatre and SKY Studios, has selected 11 writers to take part in the scheme which aims to discover and develop new regional comedy writing talent from across the UK.

More than 750 aspiring comedy writers applied for the Birmingham-based project by sending a sample of a one-act play set around the premise of a meeting on a park bench. The chosen writers, who come from Bradford, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, London and south Wales, will go on to develop their work though a six-month paid programme of workshops and mentoring.

Mentors will include Holly Walsh, Emma Fryer, Robin French, Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Oriane Messina and Fay Rusling.

Anil Gupta, creative director of comedy at SKY Studios, said, “we were overwhelmed by the response to this scheme and the strength of talent we saw in the applications. We’ve found 11 truly exceptional writers who hail from all over the UK and whose unique voices tap into the humour of where they’re from. They have exciting futures ahead of them.”

Sean Foley, the REP’s artistic director, added, “I’m incredibly excited to launch our new talent development scheme with Sky. We aim to help this first group of 11 comedy writers take their first steps in our industry. These writers have very promising futures ahead of them and I can’t wait to see where their journey will take them.”

The programme will culminate in a live staging at a three-day Sky Comedy REP Festival at the REP early in 2022.