Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, today announces two new comedies: Up The Women, written by and starring Jessica Hynes (Spaced, Twenty Twelve), and Quick Cuts written by Georgia Pritchitt (Smack The Pony, Miranda, The Thick Of It) and starring Doon Mackichan (Smack The Pony).
Up The Women, commissioned by Richard Klein and Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, is being made by BBC In-house comedy and Baby Cow Productions. It is the first audience sitcom commissioned for BBC Four, and will be the last audience sitcom to be filmed at BBC Television Centre.
It’s 1910 and Margaret (Jessica Hynes) has been to London and discovered the Women’s Suffrage movement. She decides they need to set up their own movement in Banbury, and ‘The Banbury Intricate Craft Circle’, based in the church hall, becomes the ineffectual ‘Banbury Intricate Craft Circle politely request women’s Suffrage’. Gwen (Vicki Pepperdine – Getting On) is the only member who actually enjoys the craft element of the meetings, while Helen (Rebecca Front – Nighty Night, The Thick Of It) thinks that craft is, a little, unnecessary, but she’s not interested in women’s rights: “What on earth do women need a vote for? My husband votes for who I tell him to vote for. What could be a better system than that?”
Up The Women also stars Judy Parfitt (Girl With A Pearl Earring, Little Bleak Shop Of Stuff, Call The Midwife); Georgia Groome (Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging), Ryan Sampson (Wire In The Blood), Adrian Scarborough (Gavin & Stacey, The King’s Speech, Upstairs Downstairs) and The News Quiz host Sandi Toksvig.
Mark Freeland, Head of BBC In-house Comedy Production, says: “If I wore a big hat with fruit on it and a hooped skirt, I would laugh them both off. Jessica Hynes has created a wonderful comic world, where over their embroidery, life is about to change for the women of Banbury.”
Henry Normal, Baby Cow says: “It’s such an honour to be involved in the filming of one of the last shows to filmed at BBC TV Centre and to be working with Jess Hynes, Mark Freeland, Chris Gernon and the rest of the team.”
Up The Women, a BBC In-house comedy/Baby Cow production, is produced by Emma Strain (Miranda) and directed by Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey, One Foot In The Grave, Grandma’s House). The Executive Producer for the BBC is Mark Freeland, and Henry Normal and Lindsay Hughes are the Executive Producers for Baby Cow.
Quick Cuts, written by Georgia Pritchett is a fast-paced, quick-cutting sitcom crossed with a sketch show, set in a hairdressing salon.
The owner of Quick Cuts is Sue (Doon Mackichan), who turns a blind eye to the various faults, failings and eccentricities of her staff (played by Jess Gunning, Lucinda Dryzek, OT Fagbenle and Jane Dowden). Together with Sue’s relentlessly crooked boyfriend Trevor (Paul Reynolds), they are one big dysfunctional family.
The narrative sitcom element of Quick Cuts follows the lives of the staff while the sketch element will be the encounters between the customers and the hairdressers with the camera acting as the mirror in the shop.
Kristian Smith, Executive Editor, Comedy Commissioning, says: “Quick Cuts is a fresh and inventive new comedy: part sitcom, part broken comedy, it follows the exploits of the staff in a hair and beauty salon. The brilliant cast of both familiar and newer faces, led by the brilliant Doon Mackichan, bring Georgia Pritchett’s imaginative and energetic situations to life. We’re thrilled to be bringing more original comedy like Quick Cuts and Up the Women to BBC Four.”
Catherine Bailey, Catherine Bailey Productions, says: “The combination of Georgia Pritchett’s beautifully structured narrative and cast workshops has produced a highly entertaining look at the world within a salon. With situations and jokes that are universal in their appeal, Quick Cuts is fast-paced and original in its approach to comedy.”