Smack The Pony’s Doon Mackichan is to star in a semi-improvised hairdressing comedy for BBC Four.
Currently shooting in the London suburb of South Ruislip, where it is set, Quick Cuts is described as ‘a sitcom crossed with a sketch show’. A scripted, sitcom element traces the staff’s lives, but their interactions with customers are short, partly improvised sketches. A camera acts as the salon’s mirror, with the shop environment described as ‘one big dysfunctional co-dependent family’.
Mackichan plays Sue, the salon’s owner, with Paul Reynolds as her ‘dodgy’ boyfriend Trevor. Jessica Gunning, O.T. Fagbenle and Jane Dowden, who plays a male to female transsexual, are the ‘bad, screwed up, unreliable or dishonest’ stylists. Dowden’s character Marianne is thought to have been conceived before the BBC launched its drive to include more transgender characters in its programming.
According to producer Catherine Bailey, the show’s script employs a similar process of workshops and improvisation to The Thick Of It, with the ‘sitcom very much structured and written but with some of the customer scenes, involving a big cast of cameos, improvised’.
Both writer Georgia Pritchett, whose credits include Smack The Pony and Miranda, and director Natalie Bailey have previously worked on the political comedy.
As with The Thick Of It, and Jo Brand’s hospital sitcom Getting On, Quick Cuts will initially run for three 30 minute episodes on BBC Four, with an option for more to be commissioned.
Filming wraps by the end of next month. but no broadcast date has been set.
- by Jay Richardson