North East Comedy Hot House x Alphabetti Theatre: the 40 Kola Comedy Rola

Posted on 27th March 2020

Before the forced isolation of COVID-19, we at North East Comedy Hot House were keeping ourselves busy, partnering with Alphabetti Theatre and PP Productions to bring the 40 Kola Comedy Rola to the local comedy scene. The Comedy Rola is a high-octane, live comedy competition set in a mock wrestling ring; 20 sketches battle it out to become the heavyweight sketch of the North East!

We want to say a huge thanks to everyone who submitted their sketches, came along to the workshop or performed in one of the two heats. We are obviously gutted that the final has been postponed and know this can’t be helped, but we’re looking forward to working with Alphabetti to bring you the final as soon as we’re on the other side. Stay tuned for updates on the rescheduled live final, where we find out who will be crowned the comedy champ, getting  their sketch turned into a digital short for online platforms.

For those who couldn’t make it to the live events, there was standing room only for the SOLD OUT, rip-roaring success that was Round One on the 6th of March.  The high energy battle of the sketches brought us some of the region’s finest talent, packaged into fab pieces of theatre by the amazing Paula Penman and Ali Pritchard. An eclectic audience of theatre goers, comedy lovers and drunkards, jeered on by the ringmaster extraordinaire, ruthlessly cut down the 20 sketches to a final 10. Producers from FNA, Roundhouse Pictures and Couch Potato Films all attended the live events and were greedily spotting all the talent they will be snaffling for their next commissions…

Roundhouse Pictures, who recently won the RTS Comedy and Entertainment award for their first ever broadcast commission co-produced by North East Comedy Hot House for Channel 4, will be turning the winning sketch into a digital short for online platforms. Couch Potato Films, creators of the runaway online success, A Little Chat With HR, came along to Round Two on the 13th of March. They loved it so much they’ve offered to shoot one of the final 10 sketches. It’s like waiting for buses, innit?

These events were made possible thanks to the generosity of all the talent involved. If you’re able and would like to support Alphabetti, the region’s bestest fringe theatre championing theatre, music and comedy during these tough times, they have a donations page here.

We’re looking forward to the Comedy Rola’s rescheduled final, finding out who will land that final KO. In the meantime, you can find updates on industry support during COVID-19 on NFM’s website here.

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