Best of … really?

There’s a show on at The Stand in Edinburgh called ‘The Melting Pot’. The blurb describes it as:

“A monthly show which presents new comedy writing from Scotland’s hottest talent. The audience choose the original short funny theatre piece they want to see produced as a short play in next month’s show. It’s a comedy referendum!”

Last night was a ‘Best of’ show, the best of the sketches from 2006/7. I would assume they would put on the twelve winners from the last year; or, since they seem to have ten sketches on each month, the best ten of the last twelve winners.

But apparently not, because one of last night’s ‘ten of the best from 2006/7’ was one of my sketches. I know I didn’t win anything, because I wasn’t asked to produce a short play for the next month. In fact, I have never even entered the competition.

So how did I get to be one of the ten best sketches of 2006/7? Am I that good my writing has percolated into the unconscious mind of the organisers? Has my fame spread all the way to Edinburgh? Was it bribery?


Sometime last year, Gordon Robertson submitted one of my sketches.

Why did he do this? I have no idea. I think he may have explained at the time (Boredom? Desperation? Alcohol?) but it’s slipped my mind. I can’t even remember how he came to be in possession of said sketch. I guess I sent it to him, but I can’t, for the life of me, remember why.

This is it, if anyone’s interested?

Whatever his reasons, submit he did and win it didn’t. Yet it still ended up in the ‘Best of’ show? How? Why?

This reminds me of School – despite being decidedly average at English, I ended up in the top set. When I got my hands on the exam scores (no locked door could stop me. Three lever mortice lock? I laugh at thee.), I discovered I was worse than some of the people in the middle set. What the hell was that about? I still don’t really know.

So there we go, another item for my CV and all without the slightest bit of effort on my part. If only other areas were so easy. If anyone wants to raid the scripts section of my website and randomly submit them to production companies, go ahead.

Just leave my name on them. I’ll give you ten percent of any earnings, promise.*

*This is a complete lie.

Categories: Progress | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Best of … really?

  1. I hold up my altruistic hands, Phill, and admit (as far as my memory allows me to admit) that I submitted your sketch last year for 2 reasons: 1) because I thought it was certainly good enough to be chosen and then performed, and 2) because I thought it’d look good on your CV. If producers, et al, see that you’ve had material produced and performed all over the UK then there’s a possibility it could affect (sway?) their decision-making process. It’s all good, dog, as they say. If I did wrong, I did wrong for the right reasons.

    As to the whole ‘best of’ thing … hmm, quite. It was pointed out last night that surely any ‘best of’ show should include only the winners of previous shows. As it was, there were only 4 previous winners out of the 10 entrants. Also, it’s only April. Last year’s ‘best of 2005/2006’ comp took place in August. Go figure. Maybe the ‘best of’ tag was given by the director and/or performers, ie. their own personal favourites. They certainly weren’t all mine. In fact, one of my own sketches chosen for last night’s show is so far down my personal rank of competency that I was a bit embarrassed about it. It has, by far, the lamest punchline in the history of punchlines. Needless to say, it was met by a stunned silence. Happily, other sketches of mine finished 1st and 3rd, so it wasn’t all a disaster.

    It only goes to prove that ‘best of’ shows (or even those ‘100 favourite comedy diseases you must contract before you die’ type TV shows) are mere whimsies. Like general elections, they’re not indicative of popular opinion.

    Ho hum.

  2. Maybe this month’s offerings were either too poor to make a show? Or maybe there weren’t enough submissions?

    Either way, thank you for your random altruism.

  3. I’ve a funny feeling it was the latter. I know of at least 3 sketches submitted this month that were so shit-hot they’d be declared illegal in 13 states.

  4. Pingback: 2007 « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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