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Sky Studios and Birmingham Repertory announce final writers for Sky Comedy Rep

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Partnership between Sky Studios and Birmingham Repertory Theatre aims to discover and develop new comedy writing talent from across the UK

Over 750 people applied, with eleven writers now starting the six-month paid programme

Further mentors confirmed for the scheme include Holly Walsh, Emma Fryer, Robin French, Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Oriane Messina and Fay Rusling

Sky Comedy Rep, a partnership between Sky Studios and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, today announce they have selected eleven writers to take part in the scheme that aims to discover and develop new regional comedy writing talent from across the UK.

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

Their mentors will be some of the best comedy writers in the business, including Holly Walsh (Motherland, The Other One) Emma Fryer (Home Time) Robin French (Cuckoo), Daniel Lawrence Taylor (Timewasters) and Oriane Messina and Fay Rusling (Breeders, Hitmen) who will join the likes of Meera Syal, Simon Blackwell, Danny Brocklehurst and Guz Khan as mentors on the scheme, with Dame Julie Walters as Patron.

The writers met in Birmingham for the first time over the weekend at a workshop led by The REP’s Artistic Director, Olivier Award-winning Sean Foley (The Play What I Wrote) and Sky Studios Creative Director of Comedy, BAFTA Award-winning Anil Gupta (Goodness Gracious Me, The Office), who oversee the initiative.  

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 have found eleven truly exceptional writers who hail from all over the UK, and whose unique voices tap into the humour of where they are from. They have exciting futures ahead of them and Sky Studios are proud to be helping them on their path.”

Sean Foley, Birmingham REP Artistic Director said: “I am incredibly excited to help these nine brilliant comedy writers take their first steps in this fantastic industry.  Developing and nurturing new talents is a cornerstone of everything The REP does and it is especially thrilling to see such a diverse group of individuals, hailing from  backgrounds and from all over the UK. These writers have very promising futures ahead of them and I cannot see where their journey will take them”. 

The programme will culminate in a live staging at the three-day Sky Comedy REP Festival at The REP early next year, featuring up-and-coming actors and emerging directors.