Briefs is a sitcom revolving around day-to-day life in a 'not so average’ legal practice. The show boasts a Northern cast and crew, including former Coronation Street actor Billy Doherty and Redcar-based actor Andy Tate, as well as Rob Kirtley who is from Newcastle.
Rob recently featured in the government’s Hands, Face, Space campaign and will now star in the Redcar-based sitcom. In the campaign, Rob plays the character of a factory worker who proudly says ‘I wash my hands to protect my colleagues'.
Although the pandemic brought filming of Briefs to a halt this year, the first episode of the new sitcom is set to air this Christmas. An exclusive online screening (for ticket holders only) will take place on 21st December, and will be available for seven days.
Briefs was written by actress, writer and qualified-barrister Teresa Taylor, who is from Redcar and a former student at Rye Hills School. She describes the sitcom as ‘a ridiculous, chaotic, laugh-out-loud comedy with drama and a heartbeat’.
We’re promised that the first episode will be an easy watch to sit back, relax and enjoy. 'It is an introduction to the main characters and gives hints of things to come,’ Teresa explains. ‘The series gets funnier as the series and storylines develop. Each episode ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger with situations within the law firm becoming more ridiculous, spiralling a bit out of control by episode three, and with a crescendo in hilarity being reached at the end of the first series.’
While Briefs is fictional, it’s fair to say Teresa took some inspiration from her own experiences. ‘I was a lawyer in an earlier career,’ she tells us. 'The only female partner in a middle-sized solicitors firm and a Family Law Barrister practicing in Teesside in more recent years. The characters are fictional, but there are lots of moments of truth in there. The type of real-life experiences where you are left thinking "did that really just happen?” I think that is what will be attractive about the sitcom – it has a cheeky truth to it.’
In Briefs, Rob plays Gordon Turton Swallows, the senior partner of the legal practice. Gordon has very high opinions of himself and his legal skills are lacking. He is generally ill equipped and not very PC. His cringe-worthy failings, however, could make him a guilty pleasure. ‘Initially he comes across as very sexist and, at times, not at all very respectful, but his character has lessons to learn, particularly about respect, and we will go on that journey with him,’ Teresa says. ‘I particularly wrote him in that way as I have known many characters like that, who probably were beyond any help but, now as a writer and a woman, I have a bit of control and might be able to fix this fictional character.’
In the first episode we will be brought into the heart of the office of Gordon Turton Swallows & Co and get a taste of the ridiculous world that is Briefs. ‘We hope that the audience will want to know a little more about the ridiculous characters and there will be curiosity about the hints of storylines that are suggested in the first episode,’ Teresa says. ‘Whilst very much a comedy, there is a lot of drama that will unfold throughout the series. There are some very serious moments and also great moments of sadness across the series, which we hope will draw the audience in and get them emotionally invested. Of course, those moments of sadness will be abruptly met with laughter. We hope the two extreme emotions will enhance the recipe.’
Filming to complete the full series of Briefs is now set for early next year and the full series is scheduled to premiere on air in Autumn 2021, with the broadcaster yet to be announced.
‘Our plan to get a commission was thwarted as commissioners had been furloughed and there was general uncertainty as to the climate we would be facing for production progression,’ Teresa says. ‘Faced with this set back, we took the initiative and decided that we would press on with the production ourselves independently. We have a fantastic team of professional creatives who are all massively driven. Our industry took a huge hit over the last 12 months and many of our artists have been without secure income and employment, but we see this very much as an opportunity.’
All proceeds from the online screening event this Christmas will assist in funding the production next year, and tickets are priced at just £3.75 per household. Each ticket holder will be provided with a link to enable them and their household to view the show in the comfort of their own home over the Christmas period, between 21st and 28th December.
The team will also be running an Indiegogo campaign in the New Year in the hopes of assisting with funding. To find out more visit them on social media @BriefsSitcom or contact email@example.com
Tickets for the online event are available at briefspremiere.eventbrite.co.uk