Writers urged to sign up for Birmingham Rep comedy scheme

Published: 5 August 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

One-to-one mentoring from “some of the greats of British comedy”: Sky Comedy Rep

Eight writers will be selected to develop a one-act play in a scheme which is being developed by Birmingham Rep and Sky Studios for a second year.

Sky Comedy Rep is open only until Friday 12 August. All plays will focus on the premise “a proposal in the park”. They will be performed as part of a three-day festival at the Rep early in 2023 and will feature up-and-coming acting and directing talent.

In 2021, twins and writing duo Mari and Lowri Izzard were selected to take part. Since the performance of their play Spoffin, the pair have been commissioned by Sky Studios to write further scripts which are being developed.

The duo said, “Sky Comedy Rep gave us the opportunity to be in a room we would never have had access to before. We learnt so much and had a really great time working with the teams from the Rep and Sky Studios. Thanks to the scheme, we’re currently developing Spoffin for screen. We owe a lot to Sky Comedy Rep and encourage everyone and anyone to apply.”

Throughout the six-month programme, writers will be paid for their work and receive one-to-one mentoring from “some of the greats of British comedy”.

The Rep’s artistic director Sean Foley and Sky Studios’ creative director of comedy Anil Gupta will oversee the scheme. Foley said, “the first year of Sky Comedy Rep was such a thrilling and hilarious success that we decided to do it again.

“Developing new talent is deep in the Rep’s DNA and last year’s writers and performances were a testament to how raw talent can blossom when nurtured and given space to grow. I can’t wait to do it all over again.”

Gupta added, “we were thrilled with the first edition of Sky Comedy Rep. Nurturing, mentoring and backing the next generation of comedy talent aligns perfectly with our ambition to become the home of British TV comedy. Working with the writers was a joy and the plays were a triumph. This year is going to be even bigger and better.”

To be eligible for the scheme, writers must not have had their writing broadcast on television or performed in any theatre with more than 200 seats. Further information on how to submit entries can be found at the Birmingham Rep web site.