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Facilitators of Mirth

2021 TWAS THE NIGHTSHIFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS LIVE dates

Adam Kay has announced a 22-date nationwide tour of his hit show TWAS THE NIGHTSHIFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS LIVE. The best-selling author and former junior doctor shares entries from his festive diaries alongside original stand-up and songs of a Christmassy nature.

The show is a love letter to all those who spend the most wonderful time of the year on the NHS front line, removing babies, chocolate wrappers, remote controls, and fairy lights from the various places they get stuck.

Since lockdown eased, Kay has seen sell-out audiences for his West End return of THIS IS GOING TO HURT LIVE. The highly acclaimed show tours nationwide throughout 2021. This is Going to Hurt Live has been seen by over 200,000 people, including sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs from 2016 to 2019, plus sell-out UK tours and multiple West End runs.

Adam Kay is a multi-award-winning writer, comedian and former doctor. He is the UK’s best-selling non-fiction author. This is Going to Hurt was the bestselling paperback under lockdown and has sold over 2.5 million copies, been translated into 37 languages, and is the bestselling narrative non-fiction title of the 21st century, spending over a year at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller chart. It is soon to be a major comedy-drama for BBC/AMC starring Ben Whishaw.

His follow-up, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas, sold over 500,000 copies in its first three months, and his recent anthology Dear NHS was an instant Sunday Times number one, raising over £400,000 for charity. Kay’s Anatomy is Adam’s first book for children. It was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller and became the fastest selling children’s non-fiction book of the decade.

Dates and ticket links for Adam's Chrstmas shows can be found here

2021 TWAS THE NIGHTSHIFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS LIVE dates 2021 TWAS THE NIGHTSHIFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS LIVE dates

News story posted on 04-08-2021 09:00

'Blind Ambition' hits BBC2

BBC2 documentary 'Blind Ambition' hit our screens earlier this week, and received rave reviews.

The premise: Comedian Jamie MacDonald and television director Jamie O’Leary meet artists who have lost their sight – including a rapper, a photographer and a wood turner. Together, they’re on a blind-leading-the-nearly-blind mission to uncover and collaborate with the best blind creative talent.

For almost 20 years, O'Leary has produced groundbreaking programmes that take a fresh look at disability, as well as making popular travelogue shows with some of the UK’s funniest talent, including Karl Pilkington, Romesh Ranganathan and Katherine Ryan. 

As the title suggests, the show is about blindness, but the show creator O’Leary wanted to make a different kind of show about disability.

You’ll know the classic disabled show formula: person has a dark phase then overcomes their disability and achieves something wonderful. In this paradigm the disability is a hurdle that needs to be jumped over. Or, if there are mobility issues at play, an obstacle to get around. In the Blind Ambition paradigm, blindness – a disability readers of the New York Times voted the worst thing a person could have in the world.

"In March 2021, during Lockdown 2, we set off around England to meet some fine examples of blind creatives or, as is more accurate, creative people who are blind.

At the end of documentaries there’s always the “What did you learn?” bit, isn’t there?.. What was confirmed to me is that these brilliant people aren’t looking to be considered inspirational. They are talented people excelling in their fields regardless of their disability. Each one of them has had to come to terms with losing their sight as I have done myself. Wood turner Chris described losing his sight as being like a bereavement.

What all the guys had in common was positivity. They don’t wake up each morning longing to see. They each incorporate their blindness into their creativity and get on with it. The show is not triumph over adversity, it’s triumph with adversity, and everyone who voted in that stupid New York Times poll should watch and learn!”
– Jamie MacDonald

 

"Nimbly Unserious" – ★★★★ The Times

 

"Illuminating" – ★★★★ The Guardian

 

"gloriously funny" – ★★★★ The Telegraph

 

Blind Ambition is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

'Blind Ambition' hits BBC2 'Blind Ambition' hits BBC2

News story posted on 04-08-2021 00:00

'The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt' finally released

Blue Finch Film Releasing & Infinite Hermit have announced that hilarious new docu-comedy The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt (formerly The Parapod Movie) will be coming to UK cinemas this September, and on VOD 27th September 2021.

After 3.5 million podcast downloads, sold-out live shows and hit specials, get ready to go on the road with hardwired skeptic Ian Boldsworth. Follow as he goes head-to-head with lifelong believer Barry Dodds to discover the truth about the supernatural.

Taking to the roads of the UK in a souped-up hearse, they visit the UK’s most haunted village, the home of the world’s most violent poltergeist, the underground labyrinths of Edinburgh, and everywhere in between. What follows is a rollercoaster of conflict and hilarity, as Barry tries – with increasing desperation – to find the proof to convince his cynical friend that ghosts are real.

Documentary-filmed completely on location over a three-year period, The ParaPod – A Very British Ghost Hunt is produced by Bil Bungay (Moon, Diego Maradona, Nureyev, When The Lights Went Out), directed by and starring award-winning podcast pioneer Ian Boldsworth (The ParaPod, Peacock & Gamble Podcast, The Mental Podcast) with multi-award-winning comedian Barry Dodds.

Director & star Ian Boldsworth is excited for the release saying “The sell-out preview of January 2020 in London’s Leicester Square rather cruelly tricked me into believing this arduous journey of listening to Barry’s ghost nonsense had an end in sight. In March 2020, two dates into the UK screening tour, it was clear that the universe had other ideas. So I am truly delighted that this unique film is finally going to be witnessed by others, and I can get the sympathy I deserve for putting myself through this supernatural bombardment.

Co-star Barry Dodds also can’t wait for the release saying “After what has felt like (and literally has been) years of waiting for the wider world to see the film which dominated so much of our working lives, it’s a real pleasure to know that it will finally be out there for the world to see. It’s a very unique experience to hear oneself in the grip of mind-bending fear but I hope both sceptics and believers will take away something from this film, hopefully, something different to what they brought to it

Watch the new trailer here

Dates for the movie screening and Q&A are available here

'The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt' finally released 'The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt' finally released

News story posted on 21-07-2021 10:00

Laurence Clark scoops Channel 4 Drama 4Screenwriting course

Channel 4 today announced the 12 writers who won coveted places on this year’s Channel 4 Drama Screenwriting course, 4Screenwriting, with our own Laurence Clark scooping a place.

Over the last 11 years 4Screenwriting has been an invaluable course within the industry, creating the right conditions for new talent to flourish. The course reflects the channel’s commitment to finding and nurturing new voices and is a hothouse for writers to discover their own paths to making great television.

Since 2011, 4Screenwriting has scouted and worked with over 130 new writers, many of whom have gone on to enjoy notable screening writing success. The list of alumni includes screenwriters such as; Charlie Covell (The End of the Fucking World, Banana); Anna Symon (Indian Summers, Mrs Wilson, The Essex Serpent), Theresa Ikoko (Rocks), Nathaniel Price (Noughts & Crosses, Tin Star, The Offenders) Adam Usden (Zero Chill), Namsi Khan (His Dark Materials, Humans), Chandni Lakhani (The Dublin Murders, Vigil).

Recent success stories include 4Screenwriting alumni writing on C4 drama shows, including Hollyoaks, Ackley Bridge, On The Edge, and the forthcoming Screw; several of the course projects are going into active development with Channel 4 Drama; writers with their own, authored shows, on established series going into production or in writers rooms with ITV, BBC, Channel 5, Sky, Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, etc.

From almost 4,000 applications, the 12 writers that were selected and completed the 2021 course were: Laurence Clark, Jeffrey Aidoo, Lisa Carroll, Patricia Cumper, Thara Popoola, Martha Reed, Owen Richards, Emilie Robson, Hannah Shury-Smith, Amy Trigg, Will Truefitt and Jingan Young.

Laurence Clark is a prolific writer. In 2018 he joined the writing team for episodes of ITV's Coronation Street. His first play, ‘Cured’ about a group of young disabled people who rebel whilst on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. It won an Unlimited commission, and is being developed as a full production by Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre. He has completed Channel 4’s Commissioner Mentoring Scheme and his drama series ‘Help’ about two disabled parents who control their own support, based on personal experience, has been optioned by Lime pictures. He has written and performed in his first short film, Tick Box for 104 Films which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017. Together with Matt Holt, he was commissioned by Channel 4 to write a sitcom pilot called ‘Intolerable’ which they’re now developing with Objective Fiction.

All writers received motivational, creative and practical advice to kick-start their careers with talks from high-profile writers, producers, directors and members of the Channel 4 commissioning team. These included Russell T Davies, Theresa Ikoko and Anna Symon, and from the Channel 4 Drama team; Gemma Boswell (Head of Development) and Rebecca Holdsworth (Drama Commissioning Executive).

In addition, the writers received the expertise and guidance of their own script editors whilst developing their own original one-hour drama or drama serial. Once completed, the scripts were assigned to actors to read sections, followed by discussion and analysis.

Head of Channel 4 Drama, Caroline Hollick said: “4Screenwriting is an integral part of Channel 4 Drama’s commitment to finding, nurturing, and developing new talent. With the stellar support of Philip Shelley, the scheme has consistently found original and distinctive voices and this year is no exception. The team and I are excited to support these exceptional writers on the next steps of their career and see them flourish in the industry.”