Monday, 27 November 2017

Theme Time: The Sanderson Pitch - Man Stroke Woman

This takes me back. Man Stroke Woman was a fine BBC3 sketch comedy series featuring an impressive ensemble cast consisting of Nick Frost, Daisy Haggard, Nicholas Burns, Amanda Abbington, Ben Crompton and Meredith MacNeill. The series was directed by Richard Cantor and produced by Ash Atalla, who had just come from The Office. The show ran for two series from 2005 to 2007 and was innovative and fresh enough to break away from most sketch show conventions by containing no laugh track or studio audience and centring mostly around a general theme of relationships, as the show's website put it:

Some people think men are from Mars and women from Venus. Well, this show pits the two together and turns it into sketch comedy. Acted by a troupe of 20 to 30 somethings, the situations all strike close to home, but with a more extreme and comedic bent.

I recently picked up both series on DVD quite cheaply for plenty of laughs and nostalgic feels. Chief among those feels was the show's beautiful theme tune from an unsigned band called The Sanderson Pitch. Back when the show was airing in the mid 00s, the band had a Myspace page and I got quite friendly  with them, chatting back and forth and professing my love for the theme tune, which was entitled Dive. It really is a beautiful song...

Unfortunately, The Sanderson Pitch never got the big success they clearly deserved. The cast of the show have fared much better though, with Amanda Abbington and Nick Frost having both gone on to become household names (though admittedly Frost had already done Spaced and Shaun of the Dead prior to making the show). The rest of the troupe all continue to work regularly; Daisy Haggard continues to be a familiar and beautiful face on our screens, most recently having starred in the hit comedy series Episodes, whilst Nicholas Burns has appeared in Benidorm and in the title role of Nathan Barley, as well as the films The Lady In The Van and The World's End, which reunited him with Frost. Meredith MacNeill starred in the films Confetti and FAQ About Time Travel and appeared as Merry in Peep Show before returning to her native Canada where she now stars in the all-girl Baroness Von Sketch Show. Meanwhile Ben Crompton has starred in several seasons of Game of Thrones as Eddison Tollet, appeared in Ben Wheatley's cult film Kill List and was most recently in an episode of BBC2's very funny Motherland. For me however, he'll forever be Colin, the scally who is perpetually on probation in the BBC3 sitcom Ideal

You can check out several sketches from Man Stroke Woman on YouTube, including this one which also features a pre-fame Miranda Hart

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