New sitcom option with BBC Sounds - 03/19
Bloody chuffed to be working on a new audio sitcom with the BBC in their new Sounds department. I'm writing up a series pitch and a pilot episode and fingers crossed it'll get commissioned and we'll get to record it this year. I'm having a great time writing comedy in the audio medium after the Very Visually Heavy Style that cartoons demand - it's a real change! So far the project is really being put through its paces with two characters already being cut since I pitched it in January. A pilot script has been commissioned so I am busying myself getting that ready.
This also means I've got FOUR different sitcoms under option at various places. I'm playing the odds here, something has got to win "get commissioned" bingo. Seriously though, I'm very grateful to have so much faith placed in me by different productions companies. It's amazing to have so many original ideas being invested in and I feel very lucky. Let's hope I'm lucky enough to get something commissioned!
Space Chickens in Space begins broadcasting on Disney XD - 09/18
Space Chickens in Space is beginning it's first season! Go to Disney XD at 11:30 or 4:30 every day and you'll see episodes of it. Hamilton and myself have written nine of the fifty from this season. Titles of them are:
- Best Pal
- Idel Idols
- Ommminous Foreshadowing
- Poor Dweezil
- Personal Space Time
- One of a Kind
- No Brain No Pain
- Viva La Rev-Phil-ution
- Secret Society of the Secret Thing
So look out for them or make your kids watch them. The show looks gorgeous, mostly down to the very unique art style of directors Tommy and Markus Vad Flaaten. I'm really happy with the episodes I've seen so far and hopefully the show is a hit and we get to do a second season!
Working on new projects but NDAs are tricky old things - 2018-2019
News sections are hard to maintain when you sign NDAs all of the time. Suffice to say, I'm doing some really bloody exciting stuff right now. I'm writing on a new animation series and also script editing and story editing on it as well. I can't say what it is yet but it's a serialised cartoon with an actual story arc, which has been a real change from the episodic storytelling I did on The Amazing World of Gumball and Space Chickens in Space.
I am also developing an animation show for another company writing the Bible and the first two episodes to get it ready for pitching. I really enjoy this kind of work and would love to do more of it! Again, I can't say what the show is but it's been a real joy to collaborate with the production company behind it and the show creator to make the pitching materials. Fingers crossed it gets picked up!
"The Copycats" episode of Amazing World of Gumball wins British Animation Award - 03/18
An episode of Gumball I wrote on has won an award. It's a huge team on that show and I was one of five writers for this ep, but proud to have played a small part in this. Congrats to everyone on the show! Here's a Link to a BBC article about it.
CAUSE finishes at VAULT - 02/18
We had a wonderful run at VAULT. I couldn't be prouder of the team and the work we did. Our final performance sold out too, which is always a lovely way to go out. Huge thank you to everyone who ventured underground to see this play and to everyone who supported the development of it over the years.
CAUSE one of The Stage's Top 5 picks for VAULTS week 5 - 02/18
We've been picked out by The Stage as one of their shows for the week. Hugely proud of the team for this - we open in a week and it is looking fab.
Cast for CAUSE assembled - 01/18
After having over 300 people submit for the three roles (thank god for Becky Paris, our casting director) we have our cast - Rebecca Tebbett as Tess, Lewis Hart as Nick/Miles and Lana Joffrey as Demi/Lorna. Looking forward to working with this bunch over the next month.
Local People optioned by Hartswood Films - 10/17
My new sitcom about an independent MP in Cricklewood has been picked up by Hartswood Films with Matt Clinch and Elaine Cameron producing. I'm really looking forward to writing a show about the area of London I've lived in the last seven years. I researched it by talking to lots of local people of Willesden during the 2017 election, hearing their passion for micro-change at the community level and from pounding the pavement and knocking on doors for our local MP. I really hope we'll get the chance to make this one as I really want to write a show that's positive about politics amongst the total shitstorm of polarisation we have right now. Looking forward to developing this with the Hartswood.
CAUSE part of VAULT Festival 2018 - 09/17
Delighted to say that my new play CAUSE is going to part of VAULT festival next year, with Adam Line producing. I've been working on this for ages and am just so excited to share the play with everyone. I'm also super fortunate to have Lucy Jane Atkinson directing - she's been on my "director bucket list" for a while now. The play is about an expedition to the Arctic and follows a boat of activists who plan to protest against Russian drilling. One of them, Tess, is willing to go further than the rest. But how much should one person give up for an idea?
You can grab tickets here. Also check out the rest of the programme at VAULT. It is full of some of the most exciting writers around and I'm just thrilled to be part of the same festival as them.
Writing episodes for Disney's Space Chickens in Space - 07/17
I'm back with James Hamilton to co-write episodes of this new and fantastically original Disney show, to be screened in 2018. We're writing on the first series right now and working with a fantastic group of creatives. More details to follow.
Kate the Great optioned by Balloon - 05/17
I'm delighted to say that my new sitcom Kate the Great has just been optioned by Balloon Entertainment, with Dave Evans producing. It's a sitcom about a stuntwoman past her prime and trying to keep living the dream. I'm hugely excited about working with this company and getting my second sitcom into development. It's also been absolutely fascinating to research this one. I've spent the last few months speaking with stunt women and oh boy are they the most inspiring people in the world. Their commitment and drive is incredible, but our movie industry stops being interested in action hero women beyond 30, whilst stuntmen can work well into their 60s. This sitcom is about someone who has reached the top of her hill and refuses to stop climbing, no matter what the people around her say. I'm really excited to be developing a project that takes these big themes and to be working with the folks at Balloon.
The Miniaturists - 04/17
I was back at the Arcola for the Miniaturists, this time with Redpilled, a play about alt right internet forums. I've been fascinated with these echo-chambers that normalise extreme worldviews for a while and so put together this mad script that Abigail Pickard-Price managed to direct into something really great. Huge thanks to actors Laila Alj, Chloe Walshe and Calum Cameron who totally nailed it.
Also, I'm really pleased to say I'll be joining Will Bourdillon in co-curating the Miniaturists from now on. Declan Hill is stepping down from his role after many years and I'm delighted they've asked me to take over his role. The night runs every two/three months and has five writers with new work. I'm hugely excited to get started. If you want to apply to be a part of it then get in contact.
Reading of Generation Lost at Hat Trick - 03/17
Back at Hat Trick again for another reading. This time for the final part of the Grand Media comedy writing scheme I've been doing since April last year. It's been a really fun process and excellently managed by Mark Robson and Graham Smith (I think they will run it again this year so keep an eye out on their website). We read one of the three scripts that our team of seven wrote and it got a great reception. As part of this process too they teamed us up into pairs and my co-writer Tasha Dhanraj was a joy to work with. We're writing our own spec now so watch this space.
Signed by Christine Glover at Casarotto - 02/17
My agent Daniel Nixon is stepping down to be a writer (he's really good, keep a look out for him) and so I'm delighted to say that I'm moving to Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. I can't thank Blake Friedmann enough for the last two years and for steering me through my first paid writing gigs. I'm very excited for the future with Christine and at Casarotto, who represent some of my favourite writers. Here's their webpage.
Reading of Blue Sky Thinking at Hat Trick - 12/16
This was a wonderful way to round off the year. We gathered together an incredible cast and read through the first episode of Blue Sky Thinking. We had Susan Wokoma, Tom Rosenthal, Ryan Sampson, Adam Riches, Tom Stourton, Kae Alexander and Rufus Jones - with Al Campbell directing. It was a huge privilige for me to have such an incredible calibre of actors reading the script, and massive thank you to everyone who made it possible. Hopefully there will be an exciting update next year for this project. For now, happy Christmas everyone.
Waifu workshops at Arts Ed - 12/16
Director Janette Smith will be leading workshops of my play with Arts Ed graduates. We'll be working on the script and trying out scenes. We've got a great group of graduates to put the play through its paces and hopefully we'll create something fun over the three days. Looking forward to hearing it all out loud and seeing what they do with it all. More details here (and they call me an exciting writer, which is nice of them).
Episode of Wooden Overcoats released - 10/16
Titled "A Funeral House Divided" the episode of Wooden Overcoats I co-wrote with James Hamilton is now out! You can listen to it here.
Writing for Series 2 of Oddbods – 09/16
James Hamilton and I are writing episodes for the new series of Oddbods. Series one is screening in all sorts of locations (I think it’s on ITV in the UK and Boomerang) so you can catch our very silly episode about mind-controlled cows. It’s a gorgeously animated show and I’m really pleased to be back.
Invited to join SWAG (Soho Writers’ Alumni Group) – 08/16
I’m delighted to accept a place on a this Soho Theatre scheme. After submiting a play to them this year they’ve taken me and some others on to join their writers’ group. I’ll be working up a new play this year with Soho's best and brightest, and I can't wait to get started.
Waifu longlisted for Papatango New Writing Prize – 08/16
I’m still hammering away at this play with Rebecca Hill and hopefully will have some good news to announce about it soon. But in the meantime it got longlisted for the Papatango prize, which is encouraging.
Hector vs The Future released – 07/16
Episode one is now out and on your preferred Podcast service. We’ll be releasing one a week for the next seven weeks. Check out episode one, Hector vs The Sea.
EDIT: The whole series is up now. It’s been a huge undertaking, and Andy Goddard has worked his socks off as director and editor for the series. I’m hugely proud of the result. Check it out!
Writing an episode of series 2 of Wooden Overcoats – 06/16
That “other” podcast sitcom is making a second series, and they’ve very kindly asked James Hamilton and I to write the second episode. After a morning with croissants and coffee (and the whole series 2 writing team) we devised a bunch of new eps and now Hamilton and I are working on something very silly. It’ll be released in October.
Joined the Grand Media New Comedy Team Writing Project – 05/16
Hugely excited to be joining six other writers to develop a new sitcom. The scheme aims to follow the team-writing style of My Family and develop a new show where episodes are written and edited by a big group.
Over the next few months we’ll write three episodes in separate pairings, and then swap around, editing each other’s scripts until we’ve got three crackers. That’s the plan. I’m really pleased to be involved as I love working in writers’ rooms.
Writing on Season 5 of The Amazing World of Gumball wraps – 05/16
We’ve finished the writing on series 5. I’ve been hugely grateful to contribute to a large number of episodes for this season over the last year for a show I love. It’s been fantastic and humbling to work with such an amazing group of writers.
Working at Cartoon Network was definitely a dream of child James. He’d be very happy with how things turned out (actually, he’d want Dexter’s Laboratory to return but we can’t have everything can we).
Hector vs The Future live recordings begin – 04/16
James Hamilton and I have been working on this one for ages. With the help of director Andy Goddard we’ve cast some stunning people in the roles with David Arrondelle reprising the role of Hector from years of doing the Casual Violence sketch version. I couldn’t see anyone else in that role. I’m delighted to finally have a chance to work with Danielle Winter too after a series of near misses with other projects. She plays Hector’s literal opposite in Biz.
Richard Soames from Beta Males is joining as Hector’s assistant George and playing the robot-hologram Phil we have Charlie Booth. Alongside them is a cast of ever so exciting comedians playing guest roles. I’m hugely excited.
We’ll be recording on these dates at the Et Cetera theatre. We’ll record two episodes a night in front of a live audience, and then release them later in the summer. Dates are below – come along!
18th April – Episodes 1+2
16th May – Episodes 3+4
13th June – Episodes 5+6
27th June – Episode 7
Dent taken to New York – 04/16
Mind the Gap Theatre are doing two performances of Dent in New York this month as part of their BritBits season. It’s a bit far for me to pop over and watch but they’re releasing a video of the performance online. Thanks to Paula Alexandra for taking the play on!
Short play Dent part of the Miniturists at the Arcola - 02/16
I'm thrilled to have a new short play staged at the Arcola theatre as part of the long-running Miniturist evenings. Dent reunites me with some old collaborators too. Director Tom Birch and actor Howard Perret return from Red Jungle Fowl days. And I'm very excited to say that Ian Houghton is joining us too - we haven't worked together since the days of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus way back in 2012. He's gone and made himself a fabulous career since then and can currently be seen in War Horse. I'm thrilled to have him, Howard and two new faces Philip Tomlin and Emma Moohan give up their time to work on my short.
It's on Sunday 28th February and there's four other cracking plays that evening too. Grab your tickets here.
Interview for the launch of The Sitcom Mission 2016 - 01/16
I did an interview for the lovely folk at The Sitcom Mission where, funnily enough, I recommend that people enter the contest this year. I also talk about my early days of writing stories about cats, why I have to spend so much time with James Hamilton and other useless bits of piddle.
Click here to give it a read.
Blue Sky Thinking optioned by Hat Trick Productions - 01/16
I said a few posts ago that I had some exciting news I wasn't allowed to share yet. But now I am. Blue Sky Thinking has been optioned by Hat Trick Productions and is in development with them. I'm hugely excited to be working with them on this sitcom and looking forward to pitching the pilot to commissioners later on this year. Hooray!