BBC iPlayer is streaming six comedy-horror shorts this Halloween.
Commissioned by BBC Writersroom, Fright Shorts is a series of five-minute films, written by six brand new Northern Ireland comedy writers. Selected from hundreds of applicants from an open call by BBC Writersroom in Belfast, the writers have each produced a comedy-horror short with a Halloween theme showcasing new scripted-comedy talent.
All six were script-edited by Jeremy Dyson (League Of Gentlemen, Psychoville) and directed by George Kane (Timewasters, Crashing and Newzoids), with Belfast based start-up Nice One Productions on producing duties, working in partnership with Retort. The films have also been made with support from Northern Ireland Screen, as part of their renewed partnership agreement with the BBC.
Keith Martin, Executive Producer, BBC Writersroom, says: “Fright Shorts is a brilliant example of the previously undiscovered talent that BBC Writersroom has unearthed. Working alongside BBC Comedy, Northern Ireland Screen and BBC Northern Ireland, Writersroom has produced six fantastically spooky comedy-shorts just in time for Halloween, proving even when writing for the undead, indigenous Northern Irish scripted comedy is alive and well.”
Chris Jones, Founder, Nice One Productions, says: “I’m delighted that Fright Shorts is our very first new Northern Ireland comedy commission and hope comedy-horror fans all over the UK will enjoy binge-watching the series on BBC iPlayer. With six sparky and distinctive scripts, Fright Shorts is a proper Hallowe’en treat, bursting to life with such a funny cast, a visionary director and the hardest-working crew in Northern Ireland.”
All six films were released, appropriately enough, on Friday 13th October. Here’s the full line-up:
The Candy Gran
Written by Stephen Large, starring Stella McCusker, Michael Stranney and Aimee Richardson
The Candy Gran tells the tale of two teenage ‘trick or treaters’ who get more than they bargained for when they knock on the door of an old lady.
Derek And The Evil Halloween Pigeon
Written by Martha Barnett, starring Gerard McCabe and Tara Lynne O’Neill
Straight-laced Derek battles the Evil Halloween Pigeon and his unhinged flatmate to make it to his date on time.
The Grandmummy Returns
Written by Peter Gray, starring Michael Liebmann, Gerard McCabe and Roma Tomelty,
The Grandmummy Returns explores how Paul and best friend Dennis cope when tragedy strikes.
Written by Michael McCullough, starring Dan Gordon, Chris Patrick Simpson, Julia Dearden and Eleanor Tiernan
We follow Death on her frustrating day at the office and her strange visit to the Donnelly’s for Halloween.
The Worst Halloween Ever
Written by Mary Flanigan, starring Louise Parker, Sophie Doran, Julie Lamberton, Ruairi Woods, Rosie Barry, Colan Kelly, Odhran McNulty and Lucy McConnell
This short tells the tale of Emma the socially awkward witch, who plants a curse on her two flatmates throwing the Halloween party from hell.
Written by Dave Kinghan, starring Peter Campion, Bronagh Waugh, Karen Hassan, David Elliott, Shane Todd and Jason Byrne
Two fancy dress shop employees are accosted by a vampire, witch and mummy, but learn their spooky visitors may not be the stereotypical monsters they appear.
All six Fright Shorts are available on BBC iPlayer until 13th April 2018.