Welcome to the first in a series of interviews with the Wildseed Studios Creators. We’re dubbing this the ‘Creative Corner’ where you can find a comfy spot and read more about our creative team, how they tick, their humour and of course how they wrote the shows you are already familiar with as Wildseed Studio productions.
We thought we would kick off with one of our comedy creators, Harry Deansway, whose fabulous series Shambles is featured on our Wildseed Comedy channels. Prepare for desert-like whit, cynicism to rival Victor Meldrew and an honest look at the talent that is Harry Deansway.
For those who haven’t watched Series 1 of Shambles, can you give a quick run down of what they can expect?
I’m one of the people who hasn’t watched it. But I posted a link to it on social media and someone retweeted it so the series must be good. Also technically it’s series 2, I’m just letting you know as I don’t want there to be a fan backlash against the new wildseed web-site. Not many people watched it but the fans who did are depraved internet people (I think that’s the technical term for people who watch stuff on youtube) and would be very upset and consider your question sacrilege to the Shambles universe. I don’t know what the Shambles Universe is but I’ve heard lots of other people add universe to the end of a sentence when describing a TV show or film so I’m just copying that.
How did you find the process of writing the show?
Very easy, I’m a genius.
What is the hardest part about writing a comedy series?
There is nothing hard about writing a comedy show. The hard stuff for me is all the stuff that goes with writing a comedy show – raising finance, dealing with people, engaging with society like a functioning human being. Sat in a dark room on a laptop away from other people and their problems, walk in the park.
Are you still running the ‘real-life’ comedy club? How is it going?
I actually just announced my official retirement from live promotion last week (HERE). It was a real thrill to be able to retire aged 35, usually you have to wait till you are in your late 60’s. I’m looking forward to spending the next 50-60 years drinking prune juice, spending time on my allotment and suffering from crippling arthritis, you know stuff old people do.
What else have you been up to since Shambles went live?
I’m really into Pho, I probably drink pho about three times a day, sometimes I make pho myself or if I’m feeling flush I’ll buy pho in. No, not really, I just like writing the word pho. Try it. Write the word Pho. What have I really been doing, It feels like not much, I’ve filled in this questionnaire and just sort of sat around waiting for there to be a series 3 of Shambles.
You have done several Edinburgh shows, can we see you there this year?
Actually I’m not taking a show to Edinburgh as all I‘ve got to show for doing it 15 years in a row is mountains of debt, a list of personal vendettas against people who’ve wronged me and three live gigs booked in till the end of 2016. I think if you’ve got a bit of TV/internet exposure and you want to cash in for a month the big E is the place for you but as a platform for experimentation and innovation it is completely dead and very expensive for the privilege. SERIOUSLY listen to me, you don’t need to do Edinburgh anymore don’t let my pain and debt be for nothing. I am doing the Camden Fringe though because I live in London and can’t afford to be ripped off by two landlords at once.
You are developing something with Wildseed Studios for a broadcaster I understand, have you begun work on this? What can you tell us (without having to kill us)?
I can tell you that it was a very weird meeting. My only other experience with a TV channel was 15 years ago. They had liked one of the films I’d made and called me in. 21 and very wet behind the ears I turned up and the commissioning editor said to me “ We really liked your film have you got any other ideas.” I sat there for a moment before replying “no” a couple of awkward moments of silence passed and then I got up and left in a manner that suggested at the time that it was them not me who had behaved in an inappropriate manner in the meeting. Thankfully two adults came to the meeting with me this time Miles and Jesse from Wildseed so that’s probably how I got the commission. I guess I wasn’t exaggerating in my answer to question two.
We have a big hub of creators in the Wildseed Studios network who will be reading this, some who are just starting out. What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into writing comedy scripts?
I don’t know what a big hub of creators is but It sounds like the sort of sentence I’d say if I was ringing rentokil “Yeah, I’ve got a big hub of creators, yeah under the decking in the back garden.” There are no hard or fast rules. I think the work is the most important thing and if you enjoy it just do the work. There is absolutely no guarantee that it will be popular, financially lucrative or even good but if you get enjoyment out of it then keep doing it because to find something you love is a rare privilege.
Thanks for your time Harry Deansway!
You can watch ‘Shambles’ on our Shows page or below if you’re now too comfy to move.