Radio 4 wants a piece of Jigsaw

Sketch show for stand-up trio

Sketch trio Jigsaw have landed a series for Radio 4.

Beginning on February 20, the six 15-minute episodes follow Jigsaw’s appearance in the first series of BBC Three’s Live at the Electric and several online shorts for the BBC Comedy website.

And in keeping with their name, stand-ups Dan Antopolski, Nat Luurtsema and Tom Craine are putting the show together piece by piece.

‘We didn’t want that radio sound of people sitting in a studio with acoustically dampened walls’ says Antopolski. ‘We’re writing a bunch, then recording it in my car, in the park, in the street. It makes it less formal, keeps the actor-y-ness out of our voices somehow. It’s not a recording as such, just lots of little recordings.’

They were hoping to adapt material from their 2011 and 2012 Edinburgh Fringe performances, but Antopolski adds: ‘To our horror, we’ve discovered that a high proportion doesn’t translate to audio. The funniness is in seeing the victim.

‘We’re actually having to write quite a lot of new stuff. Which is good, it’s stretching. I think the mechanism will work the other way round and the radio should generate material for live.’

He aims for the radio shows to retain the quick pace of their gigs. ‘Get to the gag, then fuck off. That’s our thing now, that’s what gives it energy’, Antopolski says.

And each episode will also feature original music. ‘Tom was a chorister as a boy and I used to be a musician. I still love all my little raps. That’s opened up a whole new dimension, a little added beauty because his voice is so lovely.’

Antopolski performed sketch comedy with Catherine Tate and Lee Mack at the turn of the millennium, then surreal narratives with Craig Campbell and Tony Law in The Dinks.

He added that Jigsaw will be returning to the Fringe this year, and said that their dynamic is now well-established. ‘We know each other well enough now to have an argument and appreciate that it can produce good results and surprise jokes. Whereas with stand-up, you’re just bouncing tennis balls against a wall, waiting for one to hit you in the face.’

The series is produced by Colin Anderson. The Now Show veteran has also been working with Tim FitzHigham in adapting his 2011 Edinburgh show, The Gambler, for a Radio 4 pilot, which airs on February 17.’

- by Jay Richardson

Published: 24 Jan 2013

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