Sitcom Trials: The Centipede Human…

‘The Centipede Human’ – not a confusion of film titles, but the winning audience submission for a new Sitcom title at a very amusing evening at The Wardrobe Theatre last Friday night called ‘The Sitcom Trials’.

The venue: I only discovered this funny little theatre’s existence above the White Bear Pub a few months ago through my addiction to picking up leaflets wherever I go to keep me up-to-date with any exciting upcoming Bristol events. Although small (be prepared to get cosy with theatre goers on benches) this quirky little theatre offers some very entertaining events, often for the bargainness price of £3. Loved the cute little Wardrobe stamp they give you rather than a ticket. Find out what’s coming up on their website.

Photo of hand with wardrobe stamp on
Cutest little Wardrobe stamp

The Show: Originating in our lovely town of Bristol in 1999, The Sitcom  Trials concept now features in London and Manchester and is coming back again to Bristol. The name somewhat gives the concept away: Five new sitcom ideas are pitted against each other to a live audience to try and get their vote. The writers have only ten minutes to draw in the audience so that their idea wins and they get to showcase the dramatic three-minute ending. With the actors chopping and changing between the sitcoms and holding scripts in hand, the focus is very much on the writing skills and how much the dialogue can draw the audience in within such a short period of time. The host and founder of the concept, Kevin Sutherland, keeps the audience entertained from the beginning to get them in the spirit of audience participation… A prize goes to the most amusing audience idea for a Sitcom title and concept (which has to be summed up in one line).

The Sitcoms:

“Shock Treatment” by Richard Dowling – An interesting take on the work of a psychiatrist, who convinces an OCD patient that she should utilise her ailment to provide a weekly cleaning service of his office during her sessions and ties up another patient to help him stop smoking. The psychiatrist was one of my fav and most amusing characters of the evening. The scene ended with the psychiatrist pulling out a gun on his apprentice – DUN DUN DUN

“The Tragic Life of Roger Bulwark” by Luke Cedar – The story begins with a troubled man with an imaginary friend – who has appeared to help him achieve the things he cannot seem to do alone. Things turn awry when he suspects that the girl he is in love with is involved in a local robbery. Dialogue and the actors turn this into a giggle-inducing piece. Favourite quote: “happy lotion”. Odd moment when a drunken audience member randomly (and loudly) comments on the main character’s haircut…

Whitecoats” by Katie Boyles – Focusing on the disagreements between two pharmacists. One of the most amusing parts was the actor struggling profusely to (casually) put on his whitecoat as it is revealed that he is a new employee rather than the hungover customer he is first portrayed as.

“Games Night” by Ed Campbell – Following the intense sibling rivalry between brother and sister over a game of monopoly, to the embarrassment of the date and husband who, as old acquaintances, use the distraction of their craziness to get to know each other again. Shows how competitive board game nights can go seriously wrong.

“Making Heavy Weather” by Eddie Robson & Julie Bower – A scientist and computer repair woman in charge of controlling the weather are  accosted by a religious fanaticwho is fighting for the weather to be left in the hands of God.

…AND THE WINNER IS  – The Tragic Life of Roger Bulwark.

I was giggling for the majority of the evening and would definitely recommend as a change to your usual Friday night’s entertainment. The next one is coming up in June so look out for the next event update.

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