24 August 11
Anne-Marie and Charity first joined forces, hosting their own comedy residencies in London and developing their own comedy material. Their winning script, Pregnant Pause, is a TV comedy-drama about friendship and fertility in your 30s.
Charity and I originally wrote ‘Pregnant Pause’ as a sketch for online. It featured uptight 30-something ‘Natasha’ who’d been desperately trying for a baby for years, and 16 year old ‘Sarah’, who got pregnant with twins after just a quick fumble in the back of a Vauxhall Corsa with her sister’s boyfriend.
The sketch got a really positive response and so we thought it had potential to be developed further. Originally the script was going to focus on Natasha and Sarah but we decided to widen it out to cover more perspectives on the issues of fertility and starting a family, and so now the script is an ensemble piece featuring perennial party-girl ‘Suzi’, frazzled new mum ‘Fran’, bubbly earth-mother ‘Hils’, as well as the annoying but troubled ‘Natasha’. Click here to watch the original sketch on YouTube
It’s impossible to pick just one so we’re going to be naughty and say more! Tina Fey. ‘Mean Girls’ was such a clever, incisive and funny reflection of what life can be like for teenage girls; and we love 30 Rock! We also really admire Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash and Miranda Hart for standing up for what they believe in and creating such hilarious, warm and uniquely British comedy characters.
There isn’t one particular screenplay that has been most impactful as we try to write in our own style, but we both remember being really inspired by the scripts for ‘Pulling’ by Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly. It showed us that leading female characters don’t always have to be entirely likable and that male supporting characters need room to be three-dimensional, sympathetic and funny too.
We talk and talk and talk for ages before actually get down to any writing. We tell anyone that walks in that we’re ‘discussing ideas’ but we’re actually just having a ‘right good natter!’ But these ‘natters’ are great – not only do we find out how the other person’s mum is getting on with ‘doing-up her kitchen’ (which is very important!) but we invariably come up with funny anecdotes and characters that we can either use in the script we’re working on or that we make a note of for future scripts or sketches. (At least, that’s our story and we’re sticking to it!)