Nic Wright

Sunday For Sammy team launch sketch writing competition

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The death of a Whitley Bay musician has inspirited a search for the region’s best comedy scriptwriters.

North East charity The Sunday for Sammy Trust are offering up to ten comedy writers the chance to have their sketches professionally performed, in conjunction with the Laffalang team.

The charity, whose bi-annual shows at Newcastle City Hall have run for the past fifteen years, exists to help people to get established in the performing arts.

Jason Cook and Gavin Webster will judge the initial entries, with up to ten people going forward to a day school at Newcastle’s Stand Comedy Club in July. Ed Waugh and Laffalang producer Gareth Hunter will run the event alongside regular members of the Sunday for Sammy cast.

The Laffalang was established in December 2013 with a performance at The Stand Comedy Club, and has had three subsequent shows comprising of fifteen themed sketches hosted by a top comics such as Gavin Webster, Micky Cochrane, Mike Milligan and Steffen Peddie.

Following the death of Philip Richardson in 2013, his friends in the North East’s music and comedy open mic scene were moved to donate to the charity.

Philip’s mother Patricia said: “Philip was always helping people and he had a particular interest in music, comedy and the arts.”

“After his funeral we had a collection and decided that the Sunday For Sammy Trust was the most appropriate charity to donate to. We then had a tribute night at the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle that raised even more money. His friends are still very supportive to the family and only this week they had a get together in the Rendezvous Café to remember him.”

Sunday For Sammy producer Ray Laidlaw is keen to make the competition an annual event, in honour of Philip.

“As well as keeping Philip’s memory alive, the kind donations from Patricia and Philip’s friends will go towards helping other people get a foot up on the entertainment ladder. Although I never met Philip, I’ve heard a lot about him and I know that his talent, attitude to life and love of comedy makes him the ideal person to name the competition after,” Laidlaw said.

The writer of the winning script will receive The Phil Richardson Comedy Writing Award, with the sketches performed at The Stand on 16 August.

Aspiring comedy scriptwriters can submit their entry, which must feature the theme of Spring, and be between 500 words and 1,000 words, by Friday 29 May.

Submissions should be made to Ray Laidlaw at [email protected]

Visit sundayforsammy.org for terms and conditions.