Search for a new star

Sunday Sun - - News -

THE hunt is on to find a new com­edy tal­ent who will have a chance to share the spot­light at the Sun­day for Sammy show­case.

The fundraiser, which brings to­gether some of the big­gest names in North East en­ter­tain­ment, has on the past four oc­ca­sions of­fered a slot on its programme to be filled by an up-and-com­ing sketch­writer.

The win­ners of the A Sketch for Sammy com­pe­ti­tion to find emerg­ing tal­ent have seen their words brought to life by ac­tors on stage dur­ing the Ge­ordie va­ri­ety show.

And the an­nounce­ment that the next com­pe­ti­tion is set to be launched comes ac­com­pa­nied by news that two of the best com­edy writ­ers around have signed up to sup­port it.

The Likely Lads and Auf Wieder­se­hen, Pet cre­ators Ian La Fre­nais and Dick Cle­ment, who were re­cently on Ty­ne­side to at­tend Whit­ley Bay Film Fes­ti­val, are en­dors­ing this year’s hunt for a sketch­writer which is to be launched at a free event at The Stand com­edy club in New­cas­tle on Sun­day, Septem­ber 30.

At 11am on the day, the event - which is be­ing co-pre­sented by Sun­day for Sammy and The Ex­change in North Shields - will see pop­u­lar lo­cal stand-up comic and writer Ja­son Cook play host and talk about com­edy writ­ing, us­ing ex­am­ples of his own work and that of pre­vi­ous Sketch for Sammy win­ners.

He called it “an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity” for as­pir­ing writ­ers to get their Dick Cle­ment and Ian La Fre­nais work seen and said: “Chances like this don’t come along very of­ten.”

The launch will mark the open­ing of the com­pe­ti­tion which is open to any­one aged over 16 and the re­gion’s bud­ding com­edy writ­ers then have un­til the Oc­to­ber 14 to sub­mit their sketches.

Short-listed en­trants will be con­tacted and Cook will help them to pol­ish their scripts to per­for­mance level.

The com­pe­ti­tion fi­nal is set to take place at 3pm on Sun­day, Novem­ber 11 at The Ex­change, North Shields, in front of a ca­pac­ity au­di­ence.

Hosted by Lind­is­farne favourite and Sun­day for Sammy reg­u­lar Billy Mitchell, the event will see the six short­listed sketches per­formed by pro­fes­sional ac­tors from the well­known Laf­falang Gang.

And the writer of the win­ning sketch - which may be con­sid­ered for in­clu­sion in a fu­ture Sun­day for Sammy show - will re­ceive the Dick Cle­ment and Ian La Fre­nais Com­edy Award.

The event will also in­clude more stand-up com­edy, mu­sic, Laf­falang sketches and view­ings of pre­vi­ous win­ning sketches on video.

Ian La Fre­nais, who - joined by Cle­ment - took part in a Likely Lad­s­theme bus tour dur­ing his re­cent visit, said: “Dick Cle­ment and I have been in­volved with Sun­day for Sammy for 20 years.

“The char­ity has given in­valu­able sup­port to young per­form­ers in the North East and we’re very happy to en­dorse the Sketch for Sammy com­pe­ti­tion for new com­edy writ­ers.”

Sun­day for Sammy pro­ducer Ray Laid­law said: “We’re very hon­oured that this year, Ian La Fre­nais and Dick Cle­ment have put their names to this award.

“They are top of the com­edy premier league with Por­ridge, What­ever Hap­pened to the Likely Lads and Auf Wieder­se­hen, Pet. They even write sketches for Sun­day for Sammy in their spare time.

“Hav­ing them on board is in­spir­ing for the new writ­ers, the au­di­ence and us too.”

Any­one want­ing to en­ter should send a sketch to info@sun­day­for­sammy.org by Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 14.

Those want­ing to book tick­ets to at­tend the fi­nal at The Ex­change can con­tact julie@tynei­dols.com

Sun­day for Sammy, in mem­ory of the late Ty­ne­side ac­tosr Sammy John­son, helps young per­form­ers.

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