Karen Koren: Searching out new laughs

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I’M in London for a few days, negotiating to bring some great shows to the Gilded Balloon, which has already joined forces with London’s most popular sketch comedy showcase, The Sketch Club, to create a competition focused entirely on the art of sketch and character comedy.

The competition started the other day and the winners of the first heat were a female double act, Revan and Fennell - they put the boys to shame. Encouraging, there are never enough women performing. Take a look on the website www.sketchclub.co.uk/the-finalists.

There are five more heats over the coming months with the final being held at the Gilded Balloon in August. The winners will get a show at the 2014 Festival and the opportunity of developing their work with independent television companies.

As well as the Sketch Club, Gilded Balloon has joined forces with The Sitcom Trials, a competition to find a new sitcom writer.

The lovely, and now very successful, Miranda Hart performed in the original Sitcom Trials at the Gilded Balloon in 2001 - she did a self-penned piece about a girl who was very clumsy and owned a joke shop, with a little blonde haired sidekick and a fanciable chap in the café next door. Sound familiar?

Again we will be presenting the final in the last week of the Festival and there will be TV producers there to judge and you never know, you may be watching another sitcom success.

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