Episode 14: Miriam the Sunday Assembly Singer – ED & FRIENDS

This week Ed took in some of the shows at the South Bank Centre’s Chorus Festival

Ed and Miriam Sunday Assembly
Miriam Zendle

His guest is Miriam Zendle, a singer in London’s Sunday Assembly Choir – a secular congregation that brings people together to sing, smile and help each other out.
Miriam tells Ed all about how she found a choir with a different edge, singing pop and rock songs and building a community for social action under the motto, “Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More”
We had great fun taking part in the singalongs and talks the group held… be warned, you might hear Ed singing:
You can find out more about Sunday Assembly at www.sundayassembly.com

Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud!

8 Tips for submitting to Sketch, Please!

We are thrilled to say that we have gotten a HUGE number of fantastic submissions for our monthly sketch podcast Sketch, Please!, and now that we’ve done three episodes, we thought we would provide some tips and tricks for any prospective sketch writers about what we are looking for. These are not hard and fast rules for sketch writing, but they are some of the things we consider when deciding a running order for the podcast.

What we look for:

  1. Matches our format guidelines – These can be found on the submissions page of the Sketch, Please! website.
  • 3 page limit on sketches, but aim for 2 if you can.
  • Written for an audible format i.e. no visual gags!
  • The script will be performed by a cast of up to 2 men and 2 women
  • No limits on how many submissions per author but time limits how many we can include in each show
  • All sketches are sent to mail@podcastadventures.com
  1. Jokes and Characters – Not every sketch we pick will have a joke every other line. Sometimes we enjoy pieces that have a slower pace and get in a bit deeper with the characters or relationships. This is partly why we have the Soapbox Monologue segment.
  1. Simple premise – we’ve only got a couple of minutes to tell our story, so the premise needs to be clear and simple. A good way to tell is if you can summarise your story in a single sentence. e.g. “What if characters recorded the DVD commentaries rather than the actors” or “What if your significant other took everything you said 100% literally”.

 

General Advice:

  1. Who, What, Where? – It may seem rudimentary or obvious, but you would be surprised by the number of sketches we receive that don’t cover this! We have no set, no props and we can’t even see our performers faces. It’s therefore very helpful to establish the setting, who the characters are and what they are doing in the dialogue or sound design of the sketch as early as possible. Once we’ve laid the foundations, we can build from there. It’s hard to care about characters or what they are doing when you don’t know who they are or where they are doing it. So tick “who”, “what” and where” off the to-do list and then have fun with your premise.
  1. Think audio, not video – Again, this should be obvious, but we can’t “watch” the sketch. Yet, very often we receive submissions with stage directions that actively describe the actions of what they are doing rather than what would indicate that practically. We can do some of the leg work for you and think about how to build the soundscape of the action you describe, but there are limits to that when you have not considered how to represent the action audibly. So keep that in mind. Think about each sound individually and how it will build the environment and/or action.

     

  2. Use the format – Not being able to see the action is actually a blessing. It allows radio comedy to be a lot more versatile and a lot less limiting than it gets credit for. You can jump cut like you can on TV and film. You can have bold characters in incredible settings without having to spend a penny on sets and costumes. As long as you audibly establish the context of the scene, there’s virtually nothing that can’t happen. We’ve had some great sketches already where people are really provoking the listener’s imagination to get their premise across and take the scenes to bizarre and fun places. So have fun with “the theatre of the mind”.
  1. a) Write for format – We’ve been sent several sketches that are adaptations of TV or stage sketches, or even different types of radio comedy. That is absolutely fine, but at least rewrite it so that it resembles a radio comedy sketch. We try to develop the sketches with their authors, but it’s a bit of a turn off to read a sketch for a YouTube video that would need to be turned upside down to suit our radio show.
  1. b) Consider the structure – A well-structured sketch is a beautiful thing. The laughs have a kind of tempo. There’s a template to some; they establish the premise, they escalate it three times or so and kick the exit down with a killer punch-line. It’s not a concrete rule and there are other sketches that will successfully break that template, but it’s not a bad guideline. (Further from the above point, you can immediately tell when a sketch has been repurposed from a radio sitcom, TV sketch or a stand-up set because the structure is off.) But we very much enjoy a funny sketch with a strong structural backbone.
  1. Make it fun for the actors – Its always a plus when we get to record a sketch with some fun roles that our voice actors are going to enjoy. It means that the actor is going to give it their all and the entire process is more enjoyable. If you have a clear idea, by all means add some suggestions for characterisation in the notes.

Admin Elf Bonus: You can submit as many sketches as you want, and even send them all in a single email, but try not to send them all in a single document. They’re much easier for us to organise if they are in individual documents. Thanks!

Thank you to Jon from The Comedy Crowd for suggesting we post some tips for writers!

Episode 13: Ross Walker the Wrestler in Training (feat. Natasha Parrott) – ED & FRIENDS

This week on Ed & Friends, Ed and co-host Natasha Parrott talk to Pro Wrestler in training (and Natasha’s husband), Ross Walker!

Ross has served in the Navy, trained as an actor and even appeared as an improviser now and then, but the mild-mannered, soft-spoken Scotsman has started down a new path: that of Professional Wrestling.

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Ed and Ross talk of their shared enjoyment of professional wrestling, the intensity of the classes and the way it has changed Ross’ (and indeed Natasha’s) life already. Plus they have a whale of a time playing the mysteriously named Gimmick Lightning Round. Ever wondered what David Cameron’s ring name would be? You’ll get your answer.

You can find out more about Progress Wrestling and their upcoming shows at http://www.progresswrestling.com and follow Ed and Natasha’s comedy escapades with Ellie Grice at giggleloop.co.uk

Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud!

COMING UP… Ross Walker on Ed & Friends

This weekend on Ed & Friends, Ed and fellow Giggle Looper Natasha Parrott chat to wrestler-in-training Ross Walker!IMG_0269

Ross has been in the military and the theatre, but is now living Ed’s childhood dream of training to become a Professional Wrestler! We chat to Ross and his wife Natasha about making the change, dealing with the risks and learning the ropes at Progress Wrestling. Literally.

Subscribe via Soundcloud and iTunes to have the episode automatically downloaded to your feed like magic!

Episode 03: Stalkers, Genres and other Obsessions – SKETCH, PLEASE!

Episode 3 takes a surreal turn this week, with a platter of genre and character-based sketches sent via email from all over the internet.

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Ever wondered if that really is a narrator you’re hearing? Do you get lost on the way to your hostage situation? Have you suffered from pun attacks? All these and more are discussed with in this cornucopia of comedy!

If you would like to write sketches and perform for Sketch, Please!, head to the Submissions Page where you’ll find all the guidelines, T&Cs and email addresses you’ll need. The deadline for our next episode is Sunday the 3rd April.

You can also rate, review and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Performers

325008_0c03c42092934bad9e3579347de94703Bentley Browning is a Stand up comic and a comedy teacher. He runs Comedy Novices, a stand-up course that teaches that teaches comedians from the ground up and is also the founder of Comedy for Clergy and a David Cameron impersonator. He’s appeared on everything from Alan Titchmarsh to the Green Party Political Broadcast.

279547Kate Bell is an actress and improviser with All Made Up: This Time It’s Social! They play fun comedy games and improvise scenes based on the audience’s social media presence. She has been an actor since the age of twelve and even had a regular role on Grange Hill!

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 14.12.23Rebekka Turner is a stand-up performer known for her surreal and frenetic originality. She performs in Brighton regularly and can be found on Twitter at @Realleela145

 

Credits

Fairytale Airport by Daniel Page
Officer 1 – Kate Bell
Officer 2 – Rebekka Turner
Robin – Bently Browning

All The Bees by Steve Blair
Sarah – Kate Bell
Jane – Rebekka Turner

The Narrator by Christy White-Spunner
Narrator – Bentley Browning
Anna – Rebekka Turner
Tom – Edmund Fargher

Granny McAfee by Gareth Moore
Granny McAfee – Bentley Browning
Clair – Kate Bell
Creepy Tony – Edmund Fargher

The Execution Factor by Stephanie Weston
Madame A – Kate Bell
Madame B – Rebekka Turner
Duc – Bentley Browning

Lost Gangsters by Tim Ashworth
Hardy – Bentley Brown
Mob Boss – Rebekka Turner
Jennifer – Kate Bell
Freddie The Fingers – Edmund Fargher

Space Puns by Michael McHardy
Captain – Bentley Browning
Commander – Rebekka Turner
Lt. Shannon – Kate Bell
Lt. Christie – Edmund Fargher

Hosted by Edmund Fargher
Produced by Katharine Kerr

 

LATER TODAY – Sketch, Please! Episode 3

The next episode of Sketch please is going to drop later today! comprised of sketches submitted by the general public, we had a really fun time recording your hilarious sketches with voiceover artists Bentley Browning, Kate Bell and Rebecca Turner

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Left to right: Bentley Browning, Kate Bell, Ed Fargher and Rebekka Turner

Subscribe to iTunes and/or Soundcloud to have this fantastic and bizarre combo of characters, genres and settings automatically downloaded on to your feed, or check back later today!