The competition is set up by “The Queen” actor Olivia Colman and “Landscaper” screenwriter Ed Sinclair’s South of the River Pictures and “Chernobyl” producer Sister Pictures.
Joining Waller-Bridge as judges are are fellow comedy writer-performers Colman, Lolly Adefope (“Ghosts”) and Rosie Jones (“Sex Education”), BBC head of comedy Kate Daughton (“Man Like Mobeen”), Channel 4 head of comedy Fiona McDermott (“Steth Lets Flats”), Sky commissioning editor Tilusha Ghelani (“Breeders”) and representatives from South of the River and Sister.
Theater producer and inclusion advocate Debo Adebayo will serve as competition producer.
The competition, a direct response to the impact COVID-19 has had on the performing arts, is open to applications from U.K.-based comedy writer-performers who already have a theater project developed or semi-developed, and have not previously had an original project produced for television, film or streaming service. At least one candidate will receive a script commission to work with either or both development teams at South of the River and Sister to advance and hone their project for the small screen.
Shortlisted candidates will also receive a contribution towards the development or budget of their next live theatrical show.
Adefope, Jones and Waller-Bridge said in a joint statement: “We literally wouldn’t have careers if theaters and performance spaces had shut down when we were starting out. So we’re delighted to be a part of this initiative and to offer our fellow writer performers somewhere to direct their brilliance.”