Female comics on the couch...

In new Sky Arts historical comedy

Top female comedians including Catherine Tate, Sharon Horgan and Katy Brand are to play a series of historical characters in a new one-off comedy.

Psychobitches is a rare comedy commission from Sky Arts, and imagines conversations between the likes of Beatrix Potter and Eva Braun and their therapist.

The half-hour show also marks the TV directorial debut of the League Of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson – although he has perviously co-directed the supernatural stage production Ghost Stories.

Rebecca Front plays the psychotherapist interviewing Catherine Tate as Eva Braun and Edith Piaf, Sharon Horgan as Jane Austen and Frieda Kahlo, Katy Brand as Joan of Arc and George Eliot, Benidorm star Sheila Reid as Mother Theresa, Sam Spiro from Grandma’s House as Mary Whitehouse and Judy Garland, Selina Griffiths from The Smoking Room as Beatrix Potter.

And magician Andy Nyman will be cross-dressing to play Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  

Ben Cavey, who is executive producer on the show, made by Tiger Aspect, said: ‘Psychobitches has to be one of the most exciting ensembles of female comedic talent and Andy Nyman.

‘The team of writers - Jeremy Dyson, Laurence Rickard, Simon Carlyle and Morwenna Banks, Bert Tyler-Moore and George Jeffrie - have created a brilliantly unique and original way of interpreting the sketch genre.’

Psychobitches will go out on June 21 as part of the Playhouse Presents series.

Sky Arts has also announced today that a previous Playhouse Presents comedy-drama has been picked up for a full series. Nixon’s The One was devised by The Simpsons actor Harry Shearer, who plays the disgraced US president, with a script taken verbatim from more than 198 hours of secret recordings made at the White House in the Seventies. The five-part series will air next year.

James Hunt, the director of Sky Arts, said: ‘Both Nixon’s The One and Psychobitches have the most exceptional cast and talent involved and are two hugely exciting and ambitious commissions for the channel.’

Another Playhouse Presents – due to air on June 7 – has been written by Sandi Toksvig and stars  Stephen Fry and Zoe Wanamaker. The Man is about a cabal of powerful individuals meeting in a hotel to discuss how they will control the fate of the masses.

Published: 10 May 2012

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