The Lentil Sorters Recording – Episodes 3 & 4

So Cabin Pressure’s finished, My First Planet too by the looks of things. Milton Jones is slowly going out of fashion and Bigipedia is forgotten by pretty much everyone. So what is Pozzitive Productions, the company behind this excellent array of radio sitcoms, to do with itself now? The answer is of course create new programs, about governmental statistic offices.

Lentil SortersYup that’s the setting for ‘The Lentil Sorters’. It focusses on the day-to-day workings of the Office of Local & National Statistics. It has impressive cast including Cucumber’s Vincent Franklin, as statistic-obsessed Graham, Rebekah Staton (Mother of Mine in Doctor Who) as democratic Audrey, Cabin Pressure’s Kieran Hodgson as master manipulator Daniel, and Spaced’s Julia Deakin as Mrs Wilkins; the tea lady.

Lentil SortersAnd these four, well, they get up to some pretty crazzzzzzy stuff to find the statistics they need and get the reports in on time. They certainly don’t stop short of using their knowledge to win bets in illegal dog fights, or breaking into the houses of a man’s dodgy tea growing business.

Despite the unusual setting, this sitcom has a certain feel about it, that feeling you get when you know a show can go far if only the audience warm to it. It’s a feeling I never had about Pozzitive’s recent success; the Brig Society (get it? ‘cos it’s crap). It will be interesting to see how it’s received when it airs this autumn.

Vincent FranklinAfterwards, I got autographs from the actors, all of whom were delightful. I also managed to get a script signed by the main cast, and all the guest actors. That was nice 🙂

My First Planet Recording – Series 2 Episodes 1&2

Nicholas Lyndhurst; he’s an actor, who was in ‘Only Fool’s and Horses’, which is a sitcom, like My First Planet, which he’s also in, which I went to the recording of.

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My First Planet tells the story of a newly founded space colony and its crew. Nicholas Lyndhurst plays Brian; the Second in command who takes command of the ship after its proper Captain dies. He gets himself into all kinds of scrapes that could only happen on a space colony, and indeed only happen in a sitcom. The supporting cast includes some great actors including Cabin Pressure’s Tom Goodman-Hill, Big Finish’s John Dorney and Up the Women’s Vicki Pepperdine.

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I must admit I’d never heard of this show before tickets went up for grabs, but I went in the hope that I could delve into Series Two without much confusion. And my hopes were listened too; although Series 2 carries on much storyline from the first series, I got my footing quite quickly and after one episode I knew most of the characters.

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The two episodes I heard put the crew in a whole host of strange situations, which included trying to tell the colony teacher that they had no baby for her to teach, and the men of the show trying to sabotage Doctor Lilian’s plan to artificially conceive a child.

For those of you who have been so inspired by this post, you’ll have to wait until April to here to show. Sorry.

The Brig Society Recording – Episodes 1 & 2

11899_635947326420795_1117507062_nYesterday I went to another radio recording. Yay! This time it was for a brand new sitcom; The Brig Society, starring Marcus Brigstocke.

Basically what happens is in each episode, Marcus volunteers to do some work for his local community and ends up being put in charge of whatever he volunteers for. The series (or at least the two episodes I saw) also stars Margaret Cabourn-Smith (Newsjack, 946626_635947469754114_207665429_nJohn Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, Do the Right Thing), William Andrews (Sorry I’ve got no Head) and Rufus Hound (who has most probably been in some stuff).

The show was being recorded at RADA, which is by far my favourite studio out of the two I’ve been too. Being recorded were the first two episodes. The first (and the better) was when Marcus was put in charge of his 525238_635947676420760_474970956_nlocal hospital and the second when Marcus became a local fashion icon.

One of the things I love about radio recordings is that the audience do not just come in, sit down, laugh, clear off. The actors really do try to interact with the audience as much as possible. The producers and that the actors always try to provide added amusement which is very nice, especially as 405854_635947753087419_910051166_nit’s free. At the Now Show for instance, Hugh Dennis conducted the audience in a laughing Mexican Wave and this time Marcus Brigstocke went round the audience being highly critical about what some of them were wearing.

The shows were good, however were both an hour long which meant we were sitting there quite a long time. The show also had a 941768_635947789754082_1721358310_ntendency to spend far too long on certain jokes which made it boring if those jokes weren’t very funny anyway.

After the show we hung around and met some of the cast. I’d already met Mr Marcus Brigstocke so I simply told him that I admired his work on the childrens TV show ‘Stupid’ which was good when I was about six, but looking back it was kind of pathetic. 603740_635947799754081_723385906_nWe also met Rufus Jones (whose script I got) and then Maragret Cabourn-Smith! The actual Maragaret Cabourn-Smith!

(For those of you who don’t know who she is, she’s been in John Finnemore’s Souvinere Programme and comedy Podcast; Do the Right Thing). We had a lovely chat with her. She told me I was too young to listen to Do the Right Thing and then advised me to go to The Edinburugh Fringe Festival. Fair do’s.