Monday, 5 March 2012

Editing a sketch - an example

In my last post I wrote about lessons I'd learned about sketch writing from my work as one of a team of writers on the BBC Radio sketch show Jesting About 2. I thought it might be interesting to show an example of one of my sketches in its first draft form, then revised after a read-through with the group and discussion with the producer. Click the Show/hide button to reveal the first draft.

The discussion after the read through raised a couple of main issues:

1. The boss (called BATTS in the first version) was too old-school. Ben, the producer, invited me to rethink him as a modern management type, just as ruthless underneath as the first, but with a veneer of apparent informality and concern for his employees. I called him simply BOSS in the revised version.

2. Miss Proops was something of a secretarial stereotype. Ben questioned whether she was really needed. Why use three characters in a sketch if two can do the job equally well? So I dropped Miss Proops in the revised version. JENKINS became simply FRANK.

Try the second version by clicking the next Show/hide button. Is there an improvement, do you think?

A few more cuts and changes were made to the sketch at the time of the recording, but as they were done 'on the hoof' I don't have those amends in script form. The show will be broadcast on Good Friday and again on Easter Monday. I'll add the Listen Again link here when it's available so you can see how this and the other sketches sounded on the air.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds really good fun, David, and we'll look forward to tuning in!